ISSN: 0799-1487

Differences in Student Access and Performance at The University of the West Indies between 1983 and 2010

Patricia Anderson, Julian Devonish, Arlene Bailey and Camille Daley

This paper describes the responses of the University of the West Indies (Mona), given the need to meet the developmental challenges of Jamaica by embracing a more egalitarian and diverse student body. The study analyzes undergraduate admissions to the Mona campus between 1983 and 2010, and documents the changing composition based on age, gender, residence, registration status, faculty, previous schooling, and social class. The paper situates the analysis of the changing undergraduate composition within the context of the pipeline created by the two-tiered secondary school system, with its differing performance levels and divergent pathways for different groups of students. Over time, the UWI has been able to become more inclusive, as the network of feeder institutions expanded. A further contribution from this study has been the examination of the factors shaping performance levels, based on GPA levels, showing that diversity was sometimes linked to uneven performance. The findings point to the need for greater support services to ensure wider academic success.
Keywords: Diversity; feeder institutions; performance levels; The University of the West Indies (Mona); Jamaica; Support services (Management)
Section: Articles