n South African Journal of Higher Education - The importance of the changing demographic profile on the success of postgraduate accounting students

Volume 27, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article reports on a study that was undertaken to determine which variables in the demographic profile of students at the University of South Africa (Unisa), influence these student's academic performance in their first attempt at obtaining the Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy. An inferential research study was performed on secondary data to determine which of certain predictor variables of the demographic profile, namely 'age group', 'assessment language', 'previous institution', 'race', 'gender' and 'occupation', can influence academic performance. 'Gender' and 'occupation', which did not have a statistically significant relationship with the outcome variable, were excluded from the multivariable analysis performed. The findings revealed that students younger than 25 years of age, who are assessed in their home language and complete their undergraduate studies at an institution other than Unisa, have a greater chance of success. The odds of African, coloured and Indian students being successful, however, were lower than those of white students. The research indicated a decline of 8 per cent in the number of successful students from 2007 to 2009, which poses a tough challenge for the institution. This decline could possibly be addressed by offering support programmes and providing financial support for students who are not at risk as indicated in the study.

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