Title: Biplot perspectives on student performance at the Copperbelt University in Zambia
Authors: Mwanabute Ngoy - Copperbelt University (Zambia)
Niel Le Roux - Stellenbosch University (South Africa) [presenting]
Abstract: Education in general, and tertiary education in particular are the engines for sustained development of a nation. This case study considers the vital role of the Copperbelt University (CBU) in Zambia in delivering the necessary knowledge and skills requirements for the development of Zambia and the neighbouring southern African region. Of importance is thus to investigate relationships between school and university results at the CBU. Biplot representations of student performance at the CBU for the period 2000 to 2013 reveal changes in cut-off values for university entrance resulting in changes in the performance of the student body; students were achieving higher scores at school level which could not translate necessarily into higher academic achievement at university; certain school subjects are better indicators of university performance; policies of making school results available as grades rather than actual percentages can have a marked influence on expected university achievements. Furthermore, most school variables had limited discrimination power to differentiate between successful and unsuccessful students. In particular, it is shown how categorical principal component analysis and categorical canonical variate analysis biplots differentiate between different groups of university performers.