Academic journal article Educational Research Quarterly

Determinants of Institutional Attractiveness to Freshmen at the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Academic journal article Educational Research Quarterly

Determinants of Institutional Attractiveness to Freshmen at the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Article excerpt

This study investigated the variables that attract students to University of Benin, Nigeria. And the variables that most significantly influence their decision to attend the university. The sample for the study was made up of 1355 freshmen at the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, though only 1170 freshmen representing 86.35% responded and were involved in the study.

From the data analysed, it was found that freshmen rated self-- actualizing factor as the most significant influence determining their attraction to the university of Benin, Nigeria. While familial attitudinal dispositions was rated the least.

Arising from these finding, the study recommended that counsellors should among others assist students build up a good image and more realistic picture of themselves and provide prospective students, information relating to various universities and their cut-off points, undergraduate enrolments, admission requirements and admission policies of several universities in Nigeria.

The issue around the globe today is who gets into what university and why? True or not, the belief in most countries is that education is the road to advancement and success. Hence, the decision to attend a university is generally considered a long-term funnel like process.

In Nigeria today, there are 43 universities (including 3 privately owned). And prospective students have the opportunity of ranking three main universities they wish to attend, and finally narrowing it down to a single and particular university (university of first choice). This practice had led many universities in Nigeria to be experiencing an increase in the population of students wishing to attend specific universities. University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria is worst for it because of the astronomical rise in the number of applicants wishing to attend it. Statistics (Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, 1998) reveal that University of Benin is the most subscribed to university in Nigeria. Accordingly in 1995/96, 1996/97 and 1997/98 sessions, University of Benin recorded 10%, 12% and 13% respectively of total number of applications to the existing Nigerian universities. In spite of the fact that the university only provided 8.86%, 11.04% and 11.96% admissions out of the applications, it received for the1995/96, 1996/97 and 1997/98 sessions respectively. It is against this background that this study is carried out.

Statement of the Problem

Statistics (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, 1998) show an astronomical rise in the number of candidates applying to University of Benin when compared to other universities. The phenomenon is difficult to rationalise given the state of this university in terms of facilities and personnel, as well as the services provided by this university (which includes the number of programmes available in it which falls short of those of the older universities like University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to mention but a few). It is very curious because several older universities, which are perceived to have better facilities, more personnel and more programmes, do not appear to be experiencing this surge in prospective students' application and later enrolment.

Furthermore, in spite of the seeming problems which students of University of Benin encounter - lack of good library facilities with a sizeable collection of books, periodicals and ability to maintain subscription for current journals in all disciplines covered by the university, and the library and entire information system of the university not on internet, poor accommodation and transportation facilities (as students live in off-campus residential apartments which are several kilometres away from the university) and over-crowded lecture halls, the university on yearly basis still records a huge number of applications. One question that keeps bothering is whether this surge is a function of the campus environment? …

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