Student throughput variables and properties: Varying cohort sizes

Type: 
Research Letter
Number of pages: 
3
Published: 
29 November 2017

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Abstract: 

A recent research paper described how student throughput variables and properties combine to explain the behaviour of stationary or simplified throughput systems. Such behaviour can be understood in terms of the locus of a point in the triangular admissible region of the H-S plane, where H represents headcounts and S successful credits, each depending on the system properties at that point. The efficiency of the student throughput process is given by the ratio S/H. Simplified throughput systems are characterised by stationary graduation and dropout patterns of students as well as by annual intakes of student cohorts of equal size. The effect of varying the size of the annual intakes of student cohorts is reported on here. The observations made lead to the establishment of a more generalised student throughput theory which includes the simplified theory as a special case. The generalised theory still retains the notion of a triangular admissible region in the H-S plane but with the size and shape of the triangle depending on the size of the student cohorts. The ratio S/H again emerges as the process efficiency measure for throughput systems in general with unchanged roles assigned to important system properties. This theory provides for a more fundamental understanding of student throughput systems encountered in real life.

Significance: 
  • A generalised stationary student throughput theory through varying cohort sizes allows for a far better understanding of real student throughput systems.

Keywords: 

throughput efficiency; student success rates; analytical process model; graduates; dropouts
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