September 2018

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What Students Want

The Campus Office of Planning and Institutional Research regularly administers a survey targeting incoming students that seeks socio-economic demographic information on them. The key findings of the most recent survey, done in 2016, are outlined in the points below. One of the main findings was that a large part of our student population comes from middle to low income backgrounds and are first-generation UWI students – the first in their families.

  • In terms of the socio-economic profile of respondents, approximately 49.5% of respondents came from households earning $15000 or less monthly, with 40% of respondents also being first generation university students. It was noted that for those who had family members who were pursuing or had pursued tertiary level education, approximately half of them had attended or were attending UWI.
  • UWI was a first choice institution for approximately 1 out 2 respondents and this is likely to be attributed to the fact that financial assistance (GATE) was provided and also that they perceived UWI St Augustine to be an institution which had a good academic reputation.
  • In respect of student pre-university activities, survey results indicated that most respondents spent more time on academic work and using social media platforms and were less inclined to participate in extracurricular activities on a regular basis.
  • Respondents indicated that they would want to participate in non-academic activities or extra-curricular activities at The UWI, such as student clubs/organisations/activities, participating in internships and taking co-curricular courses. More specifically, it was noted that respondents who were more interested in participating in non-academic activities at The UWI, were also more likely to have had pre-university experiences such as participation in in-class and extracurricular activities, and also perceived themselves as possessing leadership skills.
  • Respondents who were inclined to look forward to in-class participation at The UWI were more likely to have higher scores with respect to leadership skills, writing, thinking and communication skills, pre-university in class participation and study habits.
  • Respondents with higher cumulative GPA scores corresponded with higher scores for attributes such as study habits and pre-university in-class participation but was negatively correlated with non-academic activities.
  • Respondents anticipated that they would encounter challenges with time management as well as keeping up with academic work but were looking forward to completing their degree and maintaining a good GPA.

Source: UWI Incoming Students Survey, 2016