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Institutional Facilities and the Quality of University Education in Uganda

Godfrey Bagonza, Nicholas Itaaga, Anthony Muwagga Mugagga
American Journal of Educational Research. 2019, 7(9), 644-648. DOI: 10.12691/education-7-9-7
Received August 10, 2019; Revised September 15, 2019; Accepted September 20, 2019

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of institutional facilities on the quality of university education in Uganda in Uganda. Quality of university education was measured by satisfaction of students with their current university experience and their labour market expectations. Institutional facilities were measured by adequacy of classroom space and environment, Library facilities and availability of books, Laboratory facilities and availability of teaching apparatus, and Computer facilities and Internet Access. A correlational, cross-sectional survey design was used with quantitative approaches to collect data from a sample of 300 university students of the graduating class and qualitative approaches to collect data from 12 university heads of academic departments and 12 human resource managers of selected employers. The study found a positive significant correlation between institutional facilities and the quality of university education in Uganda. The study recommends that improving the quality of university facilities will improve efficiency in teaching and learning which in the long run should improve the quality university graduates.

1. Introduction

Over the last eight decades, researchers and scholars have been interested in measuring the quality of university education 1, 2, 3. While US research on university quality concentrated on reputational studies for ranking and rating universities, UK research focused on whether the different measures of institutional quality are reflected in the labour market outcomes of graduates 4, 5, 6.

This current study investigated how institutional facilities were affecting the quality of university education in Uganda. Adequacy of institutional facilities was measured by lecture room space, library facilities and space, laboratory facilities for teaching science and practical oriented courses, and access to computers and internet.

The quality of university education is defined as an improvement of all aspects of teaching and learning and ensuring excellence so that recognizable and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all university learners 7. In this study the quality of university education is analyzed in the context of educational outcomes in form of knowledge, skills and productive attributes which are rewarded in the labor market

1.1. The Theoretical View

This study was guided by the human capital theory advanced by Theodore Shultz 8 which suggests that individuals and nations spend on education in order to take advantage of better job opportunities and better earnings 9, 10, 11. Many researchers agree that investment in education and training largely affects the growth of individuals’ wages, the productivity of firms, and the growth of the national economy 12. In a related way 13 show that the firm’s competencies or competitive advantage is induced by the investment in human capital entailed with value creating potential.

Studies further suggest that individual decisions to pursue higher education involves an informal analysis of the costs of education as measured against the expected value of the returns to that education 14, 15, 16. 17 notes that the human capital theory is based on the idea that education endows individuals with productivity-enhancing human capital and that this productivity results in increased earnings in the labour market.

This study therefore investigates how university facilities are affect or facilitating acquisition of productive skills among university students which should in the long run be rewarded in the world of work.

1.2. The Problem

The demand and supply of university education in Uganda are expanding and this is indicated by the rise in the number of students looking for university places; the increase in the number of public and private universities; and the raise in the private and public cost of education. Economic Theory would suggest that these changes in the university sector should benefit individuals who participate in education and the nation in terms of the contribution of the educated to national wealth.

However, there is concern that growth in university provision in Uganda has not been efficient at producing graduates who are relevant to the Ugandan labour market. This has contributed to high levels of graduate unemployment at 36% of graduates who are unemployed 18. There is oversupply of graduates of arts and humanities and shortages of manpower in areas of science and technology.

This study investigated on how university facilities are contributing to graduates skills which are acquired from the university and how it is affecting their labour market expectations.

1.3. Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between institutional facilities and the quality of university education in Uganda.

1.4. Objectives of the Study

1. To find out how institutional facilities affect retention and course completion by current university students.

2. To establish how institutional facilities affect employment expectations of university students.

3. To examine how institutional facilities affect earnings expectations of university graduates.

1.5. Research Hypotheses

1. Institutional Facilities are positively related to university students’ retention.

2. Institutional Facilities are positively related to university students’ employment expectations.

3. Institutional Facilities are positively related to university students’ earnings expectations.

2. Methodology

2.1. The Research Paradigm, Design and Approach

This study was leaning more on the positivist research paradigm which is rooted on the ontological principle and doctrine which suggests that truth and reality are free and independent of the viewer and observer 19, 20, 21. The study followed a correlational cross-sectional survey research design which mainly allows quantitative approaches which enable the sampling of a large numbers of ‘units of analysis’ in a relatively short time and enabled the generalization of findings to many universities in Uganda 22, 23, 24. To a small extent, qualitative approaches were used to corroborate findings got from the quantitative approaches.

2.2. Study Population, Sample Size and Selection

The general population for this study included all actors and stakeholders in the university education sector in Uganda. The target population for this study, included all enrolled students in private and public universities; academic heads of departments in private and public universities; and human resource managers of employers of graduates in Uganda.

The accessible population were the university students selected from six universities (three private and three public) and they were the principal subjects for the study. In order to complement the findings from the students, interviews were conducted with twelve (12) academic heads of departments selected from the six universities and twelve (12) human resources managers from two commercial banks and two telecom companies.

A sample of 300 students was selected for this study using the stratified random sampling methodology to include 50 students from each of the six sampled universities. The sample of 300 subjects was appropriate for this study because following the 22 sampling table of sample size determination a minimum sample of 300 elements for the population of 100,000 and above is representative enough.

2.3. Methods of Data Collection and Research Instruments

The structured questionnaire was used as an empirical method to collect data from university students as principal subjects. A structured questionnaire was preferred for this study because the study requires standardized data on facts and opinions to be provided by respondents and the respondents would give answers to identical items. Interviews were used to collect qualitative data from purposively selected heads of academic departments from the six selected universities, and human resource managers from the six selected employers.

2.4. Methods of Data Analysis

Data screening was done to check for missing values. Descriptive statistics specifically the mean, the standard deviation, and the Shapiro-Wilk test along with histograms and scatter plots were used to check whether data fulfilled the assumptions of normality, linearity, and bivariate normal distribution and if there were extreme outliers.

The spearman rank-order correlation (rho-coefficient) was conducted in IBM SPSS 24 to measure the strength and direction of the correlation between the predictor variables of internal efficiency and those of the quality of university education. A multiple regression analysis was run to establish which university facilities were most important in determining the quality of university graduates in Uganda.

3. Findings of the Study and Discussion

3.1. Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive statistics were analysed to explain the central position, the distribution and pattern of responses on the different variables and also explain the spread of the data. The mean was analysed to describe the central position of the responses for each of the variables of interest in the dataset. The standard deviation was analyses for each of the variables of interest to describe how spread the responses were from the central position. The Shapiro-Walk test, histograms and the scatter plot were used to test whether data was normally distributed. The findings are presented in Table 1.

The major descriptive statistics to establish whether data was normally distributed include the mean and standard deviations. From Table 1, the mean for lecture room space was 2.34 and the SD was 1.102; library space and availability of relevant books was 2.22 with the SD of 1.066; the mean for laboratory facilities 3.02 with the SD of 1.438; and the mean for computer and internet access was 2.46 with the SD of 1.112. These findings suggest a normal distribution of responses given the fact that respondents scores ranged from 1 to 5 where 1 was strongly agree and 5 strongly disagree. The attribute laboratory facilities seems to be skewed to the right of the normal curve with the mean of 3.02 and SD of 1.438 probably because most of the respondents who did not do the science courses scored the neutral position but the findings still indicate a normal position.

3.2. Correlation between University Facilities and the Quality of University Education

Although there are usually many facilities and infrastructure in the university, lecture room space and environment; library space and availability of relevant books; science laboratory and accompanying equipment and specimen; and computer and internet access are considered the most important factors in influencing learning at the university. In this study, these facilities were rated in terms of their adequacy according to the opinion of the students but also how they affected students’ willingness to complete their programmes of study/retention and how they influenced students’ labour market expectations in terms of employment and earnings. The findings on this are presented in Table 2.

The results in Table 2 suggest a positive significant correlation between students’ rating of the adequacy of university facilities and the quality of university education in Uganda. The correlations between students’ rating of adequacy of lecture room space and course completion/retention is Rho = 0.215 and the P-value = 0.001, and between adequacy of lecture room space influencing employment prospects was Rho= 0.115 with the P-value of 0.070, and adequacy of lecture room space and influence on earning prospects Rho=0.200 with the P-value of 0.002. Although the correlation for adequacy lecture room environment and employment prospects is low with Rho = 0.115 and the P-Value=0.070, all these results are significant at the 0.01 level suggesting that lecture room space is an important factor in retaining students in the university but also in influencing their labour market expectations.

On the other hand, the correlation between library space and availability of Relevant Books and students’ completion/retention has Rho=0.296 and P-Value=0.000; with employment prospects has Rho=0.252 and the P-value of 0.001; and with earnings expectations Rho=0.201 with P-value=0.001. All these results are significant at the 0.01 level indicating that library facilities motivate students to stay in the university and also influence their labour market expectations in terms of employment and earnings.

In a related way, the findings in Table 2 suggest that the correlation between availability of laboratory facilities with relevant equipment and completion of course/retention Rho=0.298 with the P-Value=0.000; influence on employment expectations Rho=0.236 with the P-value of 0.000; and influence on earnings expectations has Rho=0.376 and the P-Value of 0.000. These findings are significant at 0.01 level and they suggest that good laboratory facilities motivate students to complete their course of study and these facilities also have an effect on students’ labour market expectations in terms of employment and earnings.

Finally, availability of computer facilities and internet access are positively and significantly correlated with course completion and retention with Rho=0.163 and P-value of 0.010; influence on employment expectations Rho=0.249 with P-value of 0.000; and influence on earnings expectations Rho=0.220 with P-value of 0.000. Although significant, the correlation for computer and internet access and course completion/retention is relatively weak Rho=0.010 and P-value of 0.010 compared to employment expectations and earning prospects suggesting that most students did not think having computers and internet influenced their stay in the university but they thought computer and internet access had a strong effect on their labour market expectations in terms of employment and earning prospects.

3.3. Multiple Regression Results

The purpose of the regression analysis was to establish which of the university facilities was more statistically significant in determining university students’ outcomes. Table 3 contains Model Summary and ANOVA results for the three dependent factors of quality of university education, namely; retention, employment prospects, and earning prospects.

The results in Table 3 suggest that the value of R=0.346 for course completion or retention, R=0.317 for employment expectations, and R=0.379 for earning expectations. These values indicate a good predication of the dependent variables course completion, employment expectations, and earnings expectations. In a related way, the R-Square value indicates that the predictors of the independent variable ‘university facilities’ explain 12.0% of variability in retention, but 10.1% of variability in employment prospects and 14.4% of variability in earnings prospects.

These findings are supported by interviews with the selected employers who suggested that all university facilities were important to give students a conducive learning environment and develop in them confidence that they can perform in the world of work. For instance one of the employers commented that:

Universities need to create a conducive learning environment with sufficient facilities which will enable learners to acquire practical skills which are needed by employers. Learners should be helped to develop the capability to compete and win on the labour market, perform well on the job and work in various locations. They should be helped to know that the world of work is highly competitive and students look at higher education as preparation to obtain a better position in the highly competitive labour market. Therefore, universities should endeavour to provide facilities which match the status of employing companies if students are to be confident and impress when they are in employment.

3.4. Conclusions of the Study

Adequacy of university facilities including lecture room space, library facilities, laboratories facilities, and computer and internet access have an effect on the quality of university graduates

3.5. Recommendations of the Study

1. There is need to increase financial resources both by the government and the institutions in order to improve on teaching facilities such as lecture rooms, library space, laboratory facilities, and computer and internet access in both the private and public universities in Uganda.

2. Both private and public universities need to improve facilities for teaching science disciplines since there is evidence that science courses have higher potential for employment and higher returns for the economy compared to arts courses.

References

[1]  Brooks, R.L., (2005). “Measuring University Quality”. The Review of Higher Education, Vol 29, No. 1, pp 1-21. Biltmore: John Hopkins University Press.
In article      View Article
 
[2]  Dill, D.D. & Soo, M. (2005). “Academic Quality, League tables, and Public Policy: A cross-national analysis of University Ranking System”. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research, Vol 49, Issue 4. Netherland: Springer International Publishing AG.
In article      View Article
 
[3]  McNally, S. Hussain, I & Telhaj, S. (2009). University Quality and Wages in the UK. London: Centre for Economics of Education.
In article      
 
[4]  Dale, S. B. & Krueger, A.B. (2002). “Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: an Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4), pp. 1491–1528,
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Black, D. K. & Smith, J. (2005). “College Quality and Wages in the United States,” German Economic Review, 6(3), pp. 415-443.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  McNally, S. Hussain, I & Telhaj, S. (2009). University Quality and Wages in the UK. London: Centre for Economics of Education.
In article      
 
[7]  UNESCO, (2015). Teachers and the Quality of Basic Education in Sub Saharan Africa. Education Research and Foresight working papers.
In article      
 
[8]  Schultz, T. W. (1972). Investment in education: the equity-efficiency quandary. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.
In article      
 
[9]  Becker, G. S. (1993), Human capital: a theoretical and empirical analysis with special reference to education. (3rd Ed.). Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Johnes, G. (1993). The economics of education. Houndmills: Macmillan.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Darling-Hammond L. (2000). ‘Teacher quality and student achievement: A review of State Policy Evidence’. Education Policy Analysis Archives. Vol.8, No1.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Lockheed, M. E. and Hanushek, E. A. (1994). Concepts of educational efficiency and effectiveness. Washington DC: World Bank.
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[13]  Chevalier, A. and Dolton, P. (2005). 'The Labour Market for Teachers'. In S. Machin and A. Vignoles (eds), What's the Good of Education? The Economics of Education in the UK. Princeton, N.J. Oxford: Princeton UP.
In article      View Article
 
[14]  Ghosh, B. N. (2001). From market failure to government failure: a handbook of public sector economics. Leeds: Wisdom House.
In article      
 
[15]  Solmon, L. C. and Wachtel, P. (1975). 'The Effects on Income of Type of College Attended'. Sociology of Education, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 75-90.
In article      View Article
 
[16]  Kehm, B. M. and Teichler, U. (1995). 'Higher education and employment'. European journal of education vol. 30, no. 4, 1995, p. 407-422.
In article      View Article
 
[17]  World Bank, (1994). Development in Practice, Higher Education. The lessons of Experience. Washington: The World Bank.
In article      
 
[18]  Muwagga, M.A. (2006). The Philosophical Implications of the Liberalization of University Education in Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[19]  Genza, G. M. (2012). Teachers’ Initial Conception of Profession and Eventual In-service Practice and Self-Realization Tendency in Central Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[20]  Owino, E.O. (2013). The Influence of Service Quality and Corporate Image on Customer Satisfaction among University Students in Kenya. Doctoral Thesis. School of Business, University of Nairobi.
In article      
 
[21]  Itaaga, N. (2012). The Role of Stakeholders and it impact on the Internal Efficiency of Primary Education Programme in Eastern Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[22]  Elinor, E.S. & Mariana, G.A. (2010). ‘Higher Education and Employability of Graduates: will Bologna make a difference?’ European Educational Research Journal. Volume 9 Number 1.
In article      View Article
 
[23]  Onen, D. (2007). The Management and Internal Efficiency of Private Secondary Schools in Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[24]  Krejcie V. Robert & Daryle W. Morgan (1970). ‘Determining Sample Size for Educational Research Activities’. Educational and Psychological Measurement. 1970, 30, 607-610.
In article      View Article
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2019 Godfrey Bagonza, Nicholas Itaaga and Anthony Muwagga Mugagga

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Normal Style
Godfrey Bagonza, Nicholas Itaaga, Anthony Muwagga Mugagga. Institutional Facilities and the Quality of University Education in Uganda. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 7, No. 9, 2019, pp 644-648. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/7/9/7
MLA Style
Bagonza, Godfrey, Nicholas Itaaga, and Anthony Muwagga Mugagga. "Institutional Facilities and the Quality of University Education in Uganda." American Journal of Educational Research 7.9 (2019): 644-648.
APA Style
Bagonza, G. , Itaaga, N. , & Mugagga, A. M. (2019). Institutional Facilities and the Quality of University Education in Uganda. American Journal of Educational Research, 7(9), 644-648.
Chicago Style
Bagonza, Godfrey, Nicholas Itaaga, and Anthony Muwagga Mugagga. "Institutional Facilities and the Quality of University Education in Uganda." American Journal of Educational Research 7, no. 9 (2019): 644-648.
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  • Table 2. Correlation between rating of adequacy of university facilities and the quality of university education
[1]  Brooks, R.L., (2005). “Measuring University Quality”. The Review of Higher Education, Vol 29, No. 1, pp 1-21. Biltmore: John Hopkins University Press.
In article      View Article
 
[2]  Dill, D.D. & Soo, M. (2005). “Academic Quality, League tables, and Public Policy: A cross-national analysis of University Ranking System”. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research, Vol 49, Issue 4. Netherland: Springer International Publishing AG.
In article      View Article
 
[3]  McNally, S. Hussain, I & Telhaj, S. (2009). University Quality and Wages in the UK. London: Centre for Economics of Education.
In article      
 
[4]  Dale, S. B. & Krueger, A.B. (2002). “Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: an Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4), pp. 1491–1528,
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Black, D. K. & Smith, J. (2005). “College Quality and Wages in the United States,” German Economic Review, 6(3), pp. 415-443.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  McNally, S. Hussain, I & Telhaj, S. (2009). University Quality and Wages in the UK. London: Centre for Economics of Education.
In article      
 
[7]  UNESCO, (2015). Teachers and the Quality of Basic Education in Sub Saharan Africa. Education Research and Foresight working papers.
In article      
 
[8]  Schultz, T. W. (1972). Investment in education: the equity-efficiency quandary. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.
In article      
 
[9]  Becker, G. S. (1993), Human capital: a theoretical and empirical analysis with special reference to education. (3rd Ed.). Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Johnes, G. (1993). The economics of education. Houndmills: Macmillan.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Darling-Hammond L. (2000). ‘Teacher quality and student achievement: A review of State Policy Evidence’. Education Policy Analysis Archives. Vol.8, No1.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Lockheed, M. E. and Hanushek, E. A. (1994). Concepts of educational efficiency and effectiveness. Washington DC: World Bank.
In article      
 
[13]  Chevalier, A. and Dolton, P. (2005). 'The Labour Market for Teachers'. In S. Machin and A. Vignoles (eds), What's the Good of Education? The Economics of Education in the UK. Princeton, N.J. Oxford: Princeton UP.
In article      View Article
 
[14]  Ghosh, B. N. (2001). From market failure to government failure: a handbook of public sector economics. Leeds: Wisdom House.
In article      
 
[15]  Solmon, L. C. and Wachtel, P. (1975). 'The Effects on Income of Type of College Attended'. Sociology of Education, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 75-90.
In article      View Article
 
[16]  Kehm, B. M. and Teichler, U. (1995). 'Higher education and employment'. European journal of education vol. 30, no. 4, 1995, p. 407-422.
In article      View Article
 
[17]  World Bank, (1994). Development in Practice, Higher Education. The lessons of Experience. Washington: The World Bank.
In article      
 
[18]  Muwagga, M.A. (2006). The Philosophical Implications of the Liberalization of University Education in Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[19]  Genza, G. M. (2012). Teachers’ Initial Conception of Profession and Eventual In-service Practice and Self-Realization Tendency in Central Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[20]  Owino, E.O. (2013). The Influence of Service Quality and Corporate Image on Customer Satisfaction among University Students in Kenya. Doctoral Thesis. School of Business, University of Nairobi.
In article      
 
[21]  Itaaga, N. (2012). The Role of Stakeholders and it impact on the Internal Efficiency of Primary Education Programme in Eastern Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[22]  Elinor, E.S. & Mariana, G.A. (2010). ‘Higher Education and Employability of Graduates: will Bologna make a difference?’ European Educational Research Journal. Volume 9 Number 1.
In article      View Article
 
[23]  Onen, D. (2007). The Management and Internal Efficiency of Private Secondary Schools in Uganda. Doctoral Thesis. Makerere University Kampala.
In article      
 
[24]  Krejcie V. Robert & Daryle W. Morgan (1970). ‘Determining Sample Size for Educational Research Activities’. Educational and Psychological Measurement. 1970, 30, 607-610.
In article      View Article