INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON CHANGE OF PROGRAMME OF STUDY AMONG FIRST-YEAR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Purpose of the study: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of environmental factors on change of programme of study among first-year undergraduate students in Kenyan universities.
Problem statement: In Kenya, every year a significant number of high school students qualify for university education, but some are soon faced with the problem of changing their courses when they report to various universities.
Research methodology: The study method was quantitative, a cross sectional survey with a causal comparative study design. The study was conducted in selected seven (7) universities and sampled 398 first students’ undergraduate students.
Findings: The findings revealed that environmental factors have a positive and significant influence on change of programme of study among first-year undergraduate students. KCSE mean grade, course cut off points, subject combinations and job prospects (opportunity to get a job) influence the decision to change programme of study among first year undergraduate students.
Conclusions: The study concluded that environmental factors have a positive and significant influence on change of programme of study among first-year undergraduate students in Kenyan universities.
Recommendations: The study recommended that universities should provide information on their accredited programmes of study and their career prospects. Employers should share labour market information regularly to help students learn about job market trends. High schools should network with universities and organize career days to share information on courses available and their requirements. The placement board should provide information on selection and placement processes on choice of university programmes of study to both students and teachers on a regular basis.
Keywords: Environmental factors, change of programme, first-year undergraduate students
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