‘Peer effects’ and academic performance in higher education: Implications for internal quality assurance
Keywords:academic performance; prior attainment, multilevel modelling; peer effect, school effectiveness (SE)
Although student-peers affect each other in different ways, this article looks at how student-peers affect each other academically and the implications for internal quality assurance. Using a dataset of 10,460 students and multilevel modelling, the study examined the extent to which belonging to a particular department within a university can modify a student’s performance. Student performance in two generic courses were considered - Communication Skills and African Studies. The variance partition coefficients (13% and 18% respectively) suggested the existence of ‘peer effects’. Admission officers, teachers and other stakeholders grouping students for various academic purposes are therefore, encouraged to consider the possible effects of student’s academic composition on their performance.