Best Foundation Year Students 2009-2010: Promotion 8 Term II

Best Foundation Year Students 2009-2010: Promotion 8 Term II

By Dr. angus munro (Vice President for Academic Affairs)

Every term, we recognize the best of our students who have completed their Foundation Year (FY): those who have scored an ‘A’ overall for both terms are nominated to the Vice-President’s List, whilst those who have scored a ‘B+’ overall are nominated to the Dean’s List.

A total of 20 students scored an overall ‘B+’ grade in their FY completed in February 2010; no student got an ‘A’ overall. Table 1 provides a breakdown by College and gender.

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These and unpublished data show that:

1. the popularity of the different Colleges can be ranked as Management > Arts & Humanities ≈ Social Sciences > Science &

Technology > Law ≈ Education;

2. in terms of the proportion of female students, the popularity of the different Colleges can be ranked as Law (but only a very

small cohort-size) > Arts & Humanities > Management ≈ Social Sciences ≈ Education > Science & Technology;

3. relatively fewer students were on the Dean’s List for the College of Management and, especially, the Colleges of Science &

Technology and Education, compared with about a third of those for other Colleges;

4. female students outperformed male ones in Law (but only a very small cohort-size) and in Arts & Humanities, were comparable

in Management, but were not represented for Science & Technology (where compounded by poorer overall performance).

The data were further analysed by the session when students studied (Table 2). Overall, the results of χ2 analyses indicate that there were no significant differences between different session in either the proportion of females, the proportion of students on the Dean’s List or the proportion of those on the List who were female; however the interpretation of these latter two findings, in particular, is confounded by the small sample sizes, including several of 5 or less. Nevertheless, the results suggest that there is some sort of ‘stabilisation’ occurring, where there are less differences in performance between sessions. If so, then this is good, since it avoids the prospect of a ‘two-track’ output with the latter’s attendant problems.

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These conclusions must be obviously considered as tentative, based on a relatively small data-set. Thus further studies will be needed in order to determine whether they reflect a consistent pattern, or rather just stochastic fluctuations. Such longer-term information is clearly important in fine-tuning our academic programmes and ensuring that there is standardisation across sessions in the presentation of material and the assessment of its assimilation. These and other data indicate that there is the need to identify the causes of poor student performance in particular sessions (previously, it was evenings and especially weekends); and thus to seek ways to take ameliorative steps without compromising our standards.

I am grateful to Messrs. Song Sophoat and Sam Sophorn for their help in compiling and analyzing the data.

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The following are the 20 Foundation Year students who qualified for the Dean’s List. This will be recorded in their academic transcripts. The students are to be congratulated on their hard work; it is hoped that this will encourage them to continue to do so, and other students to try harder in order to also earn this distinction in later terms.

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