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Determinants of Degree Performance in UK Universities: A Statistical Analysis of the 1993 Student Cohort

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  • Smith, Jeremy
  • Naylor, Robin

Abstract

We exploit a unique data-set matching individual-level data for the 1993 cohort of UK university leavers to DfEE school-level data. We analyze the determinants of undergraduate degree performance using an ordered probit regression model, and find that degree performance is influenced positively by A-level score, positively by occupationally-ranked social class background and is significantly worse both for students who had previously attended an Independent school and for male students. We find that the significance of these effects is robust across different subsamples of the population, and we explore the variation in the magnitude of the effects. We also find that very little of the gender performance gap can be explained by gender differences in observed characteristics and that the superior performance of females is reversed only in the case of Oxbridge students. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Jeremy & Naylor, Robin, 2001. " Determinants of Degree Performance in UK Universities: A Statistical Analysis of the 1993 Student Cohort," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 29-60, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:63:y:2001:i:1:p:29-60
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    Cited by:

    1. Barra, Cristian & Lagravinese, Raffaele & Zotti, Roberto, 2015. "Explaining (in)efficiency in higher education: a comparison of parametric and non-parametric analyses to rank universities," MPRA Paper 67119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Barbara Grave, 2011. "The effect of student time allocation on academic achievement," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 291-310.
    3. Agasisti, Tommaso & Barra, Cristian & Zotti, Roberto, 2016. "Evaluating the efficiency of Italian public universities (2008–2011) in presence of (unobserved) heterogeneity," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 47-58.
    4. Dino Alves & Ana Balcao Reis & Carmo Seabra & Luis Catela-Nunes, 2015. "Determinants of Academic Success in Economics and Management," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10,in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 17, pages 335-356 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    5. Robin Naylor & Jeremy Smith & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2016. "Graduate returns, degree class premia and higher education expansion in the UK," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 525-545.
    6. Bertil Holmlund & Qian Liu & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2008. "Mind the gap? Estimating the effects of postponing higher education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 683-710, October.
    7. Andrea Cammelli, 2012. "Consolidamento ed eterogeneità nelle esperienze di studio dei laureati italiani," Working Papers 49, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
    8. G. Boero & T. Laureti & R. Naylor, 2005. "An econometric analysis of student withdrawal and progression in post-reform Italian Universities," Working Paper CRENoS 200504, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    9. Barbara S. Grave, 2010. "The Effect of Student Time Allocation on Academic Achievement," Ruhr Economic Papers 0235, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Zotti, Roberto & Barra, Cristian, 2014. "Human capital development, knowledge spillovers and local growth: Is there a quality effect of university efficiency?," MPRA Paper 60065, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Stephen E. Childs & Ross Finnie & Felice Martinello, 2017. "Postsecondary Student Persistence and Pathways: Evidence From the YITS-A in Canada," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 58(3), pages 270-294, May.
    12. Francis Green & Stephen Machin & Richard Murphy & Yu Zhu, 2012. "The Changing Economic Advantage from Private Schools," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(316), pages 658-679, October.
    13. Elias Katsikas & Theodore Panagiotidis, 2011. "Student Status and Academic Performance: Accounting for the Symptom of Long Duration of Studies in Greece," Discussion Paper Series 2011_04, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Mar 2011.
    14. repec:eee:soceps:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:104-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:1:p:106-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Farchaini Budi Astuti & Ujang Sumarwan & Ibnul Qayim, 2016. "The Role of Student Engagement in the Success of Study of Scholarship Awardee Students of Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia," Journal of Education and e-Learning Research, Asian Online Journal Publishing Group, vol. 3(3), pages 106-114.
    17. Cormac O'Dea & Ian Preston, 2012. "The distributional impact of public spending in the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    18. repec:zbw:rwirep:0235 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Carolina Castagnetti & Luisa Rosti, 2010. "The Gender Gap in Academic Achievements of Italian Graduates," Quaderni di Dipartimento 118, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
    20. Lehmann, Erik & Warning, Susanne, 2002. "Teaching or research? What affects the efficiency of universities," Discussion Papers, Series I 322, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
    21. Barra, Cristian & Zotti, Roberto, 2014. "Handling negative data using Data Envelopment Analysis: a directional distance approach applied to higher education," MPRA Paper 55570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Juan J. Dolado & Eduardo Morales, 2009. "Which factors determine academic performance of Economics freshers? Some Spanish evidence," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 33(2), pages 179-210, May.
    23. Zotti, Roberto & Barra, Cristian, 2014. "How students' exogenous characteristics affect faculties’ inefficiency. A heteroscedastic stochastic frontier approach," MPRA Paper 54011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Herrero, Inés & Algarrada, Inmaculada, 2010. "Is the new ECTS system better than the traditional one? An application to the ECTS pilot-project at the University Pablo de Olavide," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 204(1), pages 164-172, July.
    25. Johnes, Jill, 2006. "Measuring teaching efficiency in higher education: An application of data envelopment analysis to economics graduates from UK Universities 1993," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 174(1), pages 443-456, October.

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