Determinants of Students’ Academic Performance in Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania
Orestes Kapinga, Jaqueline Amani

Abstract
A cross-sectional survey was opted to investigate the determinants of academic performance among undergraduate students at Mkwawa University College of Education in Tanzania. A random sample of 304 first year students in the academic year 2014/2015 was selected for the survey. The study used secondary sets of data including students’ academic performance in terms of Grade Point Average, entry points, grades of communication skills, and background information which included participants’ age, sex and degree programmes. The data were analysed quantitatively using SPSS version 20. The results show a positive and significant relationship between entry points and final academic performance: r = .201, n=304, p < .05. This means that higher levels of entry points are associated with higher scores of students’ academic performance. Also, there was a positive correlation between performance in communication skills and students’ academic performance: r = .451, n=244, p < .05. However, gender did not have any significant impact to either final academic performance or communication skills scores. Furthermore, the analysis from one-way between groups analysis of variance showed that the choice of degree programme has significant impact on students’ final academic performance. With regard to scores in communication skills, no significant difference was found in respect of students’ degree programme. This study concludes that academic performance in higher learning institutions is partly determined by how well students achieve at pre-university level, personal determination and social-economic factors. Recommendations for both theory and practice are given for considerations.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v5n4a8