Correlation between Four Variables and University Achievement

dc.Location2011 LB 2805 B37
dc.SupervisorDr Clifton Chadwick
dc.contributor.authorAl Barazi, Rayya
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study is to investigate if there is a relationship between four independent variables namely: students’ high school curriculum, gender, mother tongue language and nationality, with the dependent variable which is academic achievement measured and limited to grade point average (GPA). The field of study is the American University in Dubai (AUD) at which the author works. This is, hence, a convenience sample whereby data is obtained from the Registrar’s Office and the Admission’s Office. Two freshman cohorts from the academic years 2006- 2007, and 2007- 2008 were studied. Transient students were excluded in order to eliminate the influence of university experience factor. The sample size is 729 students which can be considered numerically meaningful for a correlational study. Results can, therefore, be generalized to the AUD campus level and probably to other UAE universities. The study can also be considered significant as American education has become more common in the Middle East recently. The study aims to answer four research questions: 1) Does students’ high school curricula type influence their academic achievement measured by GPA at the American University in Dubai? 2) Does academic attainment vary with gender? 3) Do English native speakers outperform non- English native speakers? 4) Does achievement vary with the different national groups studied in the AUD sample? Results were obtained by using SPSS for windows. For descriptive analysis means and standard deviations were used to study each variable. Means were computed at 95% confidence interval. Alpha was computed in order to ensure internal validity and significance of findings. For inferential analysis Post Hoc multiple comparisons were used in order to compare the different variables. One- way ANOVAs were used to investigate the differences between these variables in terms of GPA. Results reveal the following findings: 1) Students coming from Indian curriculum high schools have significantly the highest mean GPA, followed by British, then UAE, and finally American curriculum high school students. 2) Females are found to be significantly better academic achievers than males. 3) Hindi/ Urdu mother tongue language speakers outperformed Arabic, English, Farsi and Russian native speakers. English native speakers are not necessarily better achievers than non- English native speakers. 4) There are significant differences in academic performance among the 12 nationalities studied. Indians have significantly the highest mean GPA followed by Pakistani and then Syrians. It was concluded that variations in achievement along the four variables studied are not merely due to curriculum type, gender, student’s nationality or passport per se, or their native language, but rather to the cultural and social factors that include aspects like parental involvement and expectations. For future research of this sort, it is recommended 1) to administer a survey that can further validate the findings, 2) to study gender achievement along the various academic programs offered, 3) to investigate how many female students earn a degree compared to males, and 4) to look at TOEFL scores upon enrollment and compare them with GPA in order to highlight relationships between language proficiency and achievement.en_US
dc.publisherThe British University in Dubai (BUiD)en_US
dc.subjectmother tongue languageen_US
dc.subjectacademic achievementen_US
dc.titleCorrelation between Four Variables and University Achievementen_US
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