The Effect of Educational and Environmental Factors on Students' Academic Performances in Nigerian Universities: A Mixed Linear Model (MLM) Approach
This study seeks to enrich the existing literature on academic performance in Nigerian universities and recommend a culture of evidence-driven decision-making in the higher education sector. It investigates educational and environmental factors affecting Nigerian university students' academic performances. Data was collected from eight different Schools of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) using the stratified random sampling technique. The educational factors comprise of human resources, physical facilities and instructional materials, while the environmental factors are internet accessibility, transportation, security, students’ housing, and electricity. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Mixed Linear Model (MLM) Analysis were used to analyze the collected data. Findings show that among the eight variables studied, only “instructional materials” significantly explained the “Cumulative Grade Point Average” (CGPA) of the students. Though there was a non-significant “Schools” effect, the intra-class correlation Coefficient (ICC) was 22%. This study, therefore, contributes to the development of strategies that can effectively address the poor performance of most Nigerian university students. However, to inform policy initiatives to improve educational quality in Nigerian universities, more studies are required to identify additional factors that may affect students' academic achievements using more universities.