Characterising entrants into the University system in Uganda
The Inter-University Council of East Africa, together with the National Higher Education Quality Assurance bodies of the East African countries, has been developing a joint quality assurance framework for Higher Education in the region. Among the objectives of this framework is improved student mobility, as well as bridging the gap between disparate educational systems. A key quality concern for Ugandan Higher Education is the validity of the scores from the high stakes Advanced Level examinations, upon which Universities largely base their admission. The study that I will report on is part of a wider PhD study investigating the predictive validity of the A-Level scores of entrants‟ success at University. I will focus on the preliminary study that seeks to characterise the University entrant in terms of their knowledge and skill base as reflected by their A-Level subject combinations and grades. The study was carried out at two public and six private universities in Uganda, and focused on three study programmes: Development Studies, Information Technology and Business Administration. The major outcome of this study is to identify the subjects that University entrants study at A-Level, and their scores in the final examination. This will form a basis for the follow-up study to determine the predictive validity of entry scores with relation to performance at University; this validity is expected to be variable, and my thesis is that it will depend greatly on the specific teaching and examination practices at the entrants‟ previous high schools; the follow-up study will focus on these schools.