The perception of class size on teaching quality and the performance of STEM students in private undergraduate universities in Ghana: A comparison between Ashesi University and Central University

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International Higher Education in the twenty-first century is facing significant uncertainties not only because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but also because of other challenges like limited access and funding. In Africa, higher education is under threat from the growing population that puts pressure on existing resources. This challenge is no different in Ghana, a West African country located along the Gulf of Guinea. This is attributable to the fact that access to higher education is determined to a large extent by the available facilities in the heavily subsidized public universities in Ghana. Private universities exist but they are either more expensive or cheaper but much less reputable than state universities and are often much smaller than public universities although a few are large. Given the challenges of access and quality in higher education, the study sought to determine the relationship between class size and student performance in STEM courses, in two private undergraduate universities in Ghana. The mixed method approach was used with semi-structured interviews and questionnaires as data collection methods. The sample size was 258 STEM students, and sampling techniques were the simple random sampling and purposive sampling. The findings showed that there was no significant relationship between class size and student performance at the conventional level of significance. However, students indicated that effective time management, learning environment and critical thinking skills impacted them significantly. Therefore, if measures are put in place, where despite the class size, individual needs of students are met, that is most important.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2021
private higher education institutions, student perception, class size