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An exploration of student failure on an undergraduate accounting programme of study


  • Louise Gracia
  • Ellis Jenkins


Academic failure creates financial and emotional issues for students, with associated resource and performance implications for higher education institutions. The literature reveals that much of the work on student performance is quantitative, restricting understanding of the deeper feelings and perceptions of students towards their studies. This paper explores undergraduate student performance from an experiential perspective, recognising the complexity and subjectivity of academic performance. Findings appear to highlight: the negative focus of reasoning underlying the choice of study; the impact of affect; the importance of the role of the tutor; the tutor expectations gap; levels of control and personal responsibility for learning; and patterns of participation as possible significant and important factors in understanding academic performance. Finally, the implications of the findings are discussed and further research outlined in terms of developing a predictive model that could offer early identification of students who are susceptible to academic failure and establishing appropriate, proactive support strategies for such students.

Suggested Citation

  • Louise Gracia & Ellis Jenkins, 2002. "An exploration of student failure on an undergraduate accounting programme of study," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 93-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:accted:v:11:y:2002:i:1:p:93-107
    DOI: 10.1080/09639280210153290

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kamal Naser & Michael Peel, 1998. "An exploratory study of the impact of intervening variables on student performance in a Principles of Accounting course," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 209-223.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harrington, Donna Ramirez & Kulasekera, Kumuduni & Bates, Rick & Bredahl, Maury E., 2006. "Determinants of Student Performance in an Undergraduate Financial Accounting Class," Working Papers 34117, University of Guelph, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics.


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