Assessment of Gender Disparity in Academic Performance Among Undergraduates of College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ambo University, Ethiopia

Gerbaba Guta


Introduction. Gender disparity in higher educational institutions of Ethiopia has become one of the cross cutting agendas that need special concern. The objective of this study was to assess gender disparity in academic performance among undergraduate students of Ambo University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Methods. This paper analyzed the university entrance examination score and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 133 (92 male and 41 female) undergraduate graduates of 2017 at Ambo University, College of medicine and health sciences. The census survey was conducted through an anonymous self administered questionnaire from September 20-October 10, 2017. Independent sample t-test was performed to test gender disparity among the undergraduates with regard to academic performance.

Results. The study findings revealed that, there were gender disparities among undergraduates of Ambo University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Female students joined the University with lower university entrance examination score (Mean=428.5, SD=27.1) compared to males (Mean=442.6, SD=25.2). Thus, their grade 12 exam achievement mean difference was found to be statistically significant (Mean difference=14.1; 95% CI= 4.52-23.67; t=2.913, df=131, p-value=0.004). Similarly, female undergraduates achieved lower CGPA (Mean=2.93, SD=0.39) than male undergraduates (Mean=3.29, SD =0.41). There was also a significant mean difference between male and female students in CGPA achievement at university (Mean difference=0.36; 95% CI= 0.21-0.51; t=4.780,df=131, p-value<0.001).  Moreover, the proportion of females graduated from the college in 2017 was only 26.5%.

Conclusion. According to the students’ high school performance, female students achieved university entrance examination score significantly lower than males. Similarly, female students’ academic performance at university was also low compared to male students. Regarding gender composition graduates, the result indicates that female undergraduates were underrepresented in the college accounting only 26.5%.  The implication of this study suggests that the affirmative action intervention including tutorial classes, study skills, time management trainings and counseling provided to female students in the university was not effective since it couldn’t eliminate gender gap in academic performance.

Keywords: Academic performance; Gender disparity assessment; independent t-test.

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-5-04

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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