Determinants of Students' Academic Performance

Determinants of students' academic performance have received significant attention in the education literature. Student performance is generally viewed as product of socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. The factors are expected to vary from one country to another. Hence, the attempt was made in the literature is to identify the factors that affect students' performance and lead to student's success. The multidisciplinary approach to Population Sciences has gained increasing practical relevance in recent times. For Bangladesh, although many challenges remain, successive successes in several populations related programs have brought international laurels and attention over the past few years. Developments and challenges in the population field have increased the need for professionals who can critically analyze population issues and manage various population related programs. The Department of Population Sciences (DPS) was established in 1998 under the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Dhaka in collaboration with UNFPA with a view to create a cadre of trained person-power for the nation by developing skills and creative judgments in individuals for understanding and effective management of population issues. In the first year of its inception (i.e., during the session 1998-99), the Department of Population Sciences has introduced a two-year professional post-graduate degree program. The degree awarded for this program is named Master of Population Sciences (MPS). Students and professionals from diverse fields such as environment, medicine, engineering, sociology, business, women's studies, economics, and geography, law, and NGO management came to this department to acquire intellectual training and to ensure rewarding career. Hence different factors determine the success of this diverse pool of students. Thus the purpose of this study is to determine which factors affect the success of the MPS students.

The objective of the study is to identify the factors which are responsible for students’ academic performance in Department of Population Sciences, Dhaka University.

Literature Review
In Europe, Smith and Naylor (1993) examined determinants of degree performance of students leaving UK universities and found that degree performance is influenced significantly by personal characteristics. They also found that performance of female students is better than the performance of male students in Biological Science and Humanities and worse in Mathematics and Computing. Smith and Naylor observed that both men and women, married individuals do better than non-married students. In North America, Keil and Partell (1997) examined the relationship between class size and student achievement in Binghamton University. They found that there is a strong negative relationship between class size and the likelihood of receiving high course. As class size increases, the probability of receiving an A is lowered. In Bangladesh, Hossain, Zeheen, & Islam (2012) stated that most important variable for all the schools turned out to be past result variable. That indicates that better students are doing well in this University. We should not be contented with this result as it may show that teaching at this University has no contribution to better performances of the students. Matured students are performing better than younger students as depicted in the value of the coefficient for age in all the Schools of the University. Though parents’ education particularly mothers’ education is supposed to influence positively to the performances of the children, our results only support that fathers’ education do have some influence. Parents’ income levels exert sufficient influence for Business and Engineering Schools and have almost no effect on the students of English Department. This may indicate that study in the Department is less expensive or that some of the students can earn to support...

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