Predicting students' academic performance based on school and socio-demographic characteristics

Abstract

Students’ trajectories into university are often uniquely dependent on school qualifications though these alone are limited as predictors of academic potential. This study endorses this, examining associations between school grades, school type, school performance, socio-economic deprivation, neighbourhood participation, sex and academic achievement at a British university. Consistent with past research, large entry-level differences between students are generally narrowed by final year at university. Students from the most deprived areas performed less well than more affluent students. Asian and black students performed less well than white students. Female students performed better than their male counterparts. Contrasting with past research, though school performance was positively associated with entry grades, students from low-performing schools were more likely to achieve the highest degree classifications. Additionally, independent school students performed less well than comprehensive school students at final year despite entering with higher grades. These variations exemplify how patterns observed nationally may differ between universities.

Publication
Studies in Higher Education

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