Do tutorial programmes influence the performance of Economics students? A case study of the Economics 178 course at Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP02/2008
 
Publication date: 2008
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
 
Abstract:

The deteriorating performance of first-year Economics students has become a concern at many South African universities. Addressing the issue requires a thorough understanding of the factors influencing students’ success. Studies analysing academic performance usually use the education production function approach. This approach identifies inputs crucial to learning to achieve certain outputs. Factors that have been investigated in other studies include the impact of lecture attendance on performance, as well as other factors such as matric results (particularly performance in Mathematics), gender and the age of the student. This study adds to existing literature by analysing the impact of the tutorial programme as an input. The case study investigates the tutorial programme for first-year Economics students at Stellenbosch University (SU) using both a quantitative and qualitative analysis. Results confirm what previous studies have found, namely that lecture attendance, gender and matric results contribute positively to performance in first-year Economics. The main finding of the paper is that tutorial attendance also contributes positively to academic performance.

 
JEL Classification:

A2, A22, A29

Keywords:

Tutor programme, Undergraduate, Academic performance

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