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Can Schooling and Socio-Economic Level Be a Millstone to a Student's Academic Success?

Listed author(s):
  • Christopher Bruffaerts
  • Catherine Dehon
  • Bertrand Guisset

By using data collected through a survey containing newly enrolled student in Management Engineering at the University of Brussels, we show that even if all students do not come with the same chance of success at university, their working/studying behavior may lessen the burden of the past. Unlike the majority of the literature focusing on deterministic vision of success, we propose a more balanced view of the determining factors of academic success where success is explained both by what the student controls and what he does not control. We indeed take into account by means of a multivariate analysis the background of the student(personal characteristics, schooling and human capital of the family) as well as variables that are related to the study methods and habits of the student such as class attendance, the regularity of study and the study capacity during the exam period. Our results show that the work/studying pays off: the two most relevant factors explaining success are the work/study regularity as well as the number of hours the student studies/works during the exam period. In addition and in contrast with the common belief, both class attendance and guidance courses do not seem to be important to succeed but are the keys in successfully completing the year with a grade.

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File Function: 2011-016-BRUFFAERTS_DEHON_GUISSET-canschooling
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number ECARES 2011-016.

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Length: 22 p.
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/92704
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