AS or Academic Success.

AS stands for the Academic Success of freshman (first year students) in science related studies at the Dutch universities as measured through my second survey.

I have measured 2 parameters for AS:
  1. ECTS = European Credit Transfer System - the number of study equivalents the student earned.
  2. AG = Average Grade - average grade for all ECTS attained.
For every different university faculty (85 in total), I gathered information about the number of ECTS a nominal student could have earned at the moment of the survey. This information was derived from at least two or sometimes all of the following sources: faculty members involved in freshman education, senior students, and the faculty website. Together with the attained number of ECTS this provided the 'part of the maximum ECTS' (PM) the respondent had attained. In some instances this resulted in a PM > 1, as some students were registered at two faculties and attained ECTS at both of them in the same academic year.

Academic Success is related to both PM and AG, but the interrelationship between these two is not always positive. Two students who potentially have the same AS could differ considerably in PM and AG; one of them could choose to put her/his effort in increasing AG at the cost of PM and the other could choose the other way around. Therefore, I decided to include PM and AG together in one combined parameter, AS, containing an addition of the following terms:PM*AG: representing achievement in all ECTS the student attained. AG potentially ranges from 5.5 to 10 as all grades of 5.5 and up are considered sufficient in order to attain ECTS and 10 is the highest grade possible.

  1. If PM < 1 a term of (1-PM)*4 is added, representing achievement in the failed subjects. The '4' is an estimate of the mean grade an average student would or has attained for these subjects. Many (sometimes hard working) students fail while achieving just a little lower grade than 5.5. If I leave out this term this would result in a significantly lower AS for someone with a grade of 5 compared to someone with a grade of 5.5, while their achievement is quite similar.
  2. • If PM < 1 a term of (1-PM)*4 is added, representing achievement in the failed subjects. The '4' is an estimate of the mean grade an average student would or has attained for these subjects. Many (sometimes hard working) students fail while achieving just a little lower grade than 5.5. If I leave out this term this would result in a significantly lower AS for someone with a grade of 5 compared to someone with a grade of 5.5, while their achievement is quite similar.
Every course of study differs from other courses of study in level of difficulty, and they attract students of different capabilities. With linear regression techniques a parameter 'Academic Success' is derived which is comparable over all different courses of study.