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IFPO20B0135 Quantitative Methods

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IFPO20B0135 Quantitative Methods

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Course Code: IFPO20B0135
University: University Of The Sunshine Coast

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Country: Australia

Question:
Select and use the most appropiate statistic to analyse the data- mean,mode,median and range.

Answer:
Introduction
Higher education is a term that is used in distinguishing courses of study that result in the award of a diploma, degree or a similar advanced qualification (Marginson, 2006). Higher education entails the education stage which begins after schooling for fifteen years for the intellectual work and advanced students’ training for an effective and an efficient role in leadership in all walks of national life (Teichler, 2004). Higher education involves all education that is above the level of secondary school. They include colleges, professional schools, universities graduate schools, normal schools and ethical colleges. The aim of higher education is to attain the socio-cultural and developmental needs of a country (Enders, 2004). Through higher education, individuals are presented with the opportunity to develop their potential (Teferra & Altbachl, 2004). As a result, through higher education, the society is presented with individuals who are morally sound and are capable of multifarious roles in the society.
The United Kingdom has a vast variety of opportunities in higher education for a wide range of students with over 100 universities offering a variety of degree programs (Yorke & Longden, 2008). In the United Kingdom, there are four levels of education during enrolment, namely, first degree, postgraduate research, postgraduate taught and other undergraduate levels as per the classification of the Higher Education Statistical Agency (Scott, 2005). In this regard, the following study aims to determine the relationship between these higher education academic levels.
Hypothesis
The following hypothesis was developed:

The progression rate from the first degree to the postgraduate taught is higher than the progression rate from the postgraduate taught to the postgraduate research.

Sample size
Data that was used was obtained from online sources and represented all the recorded number of students who enrolled in the various levels of higher education. Thus, the researcher opted to use the whole population size and not sample sizes.
Source of data
Data on student’s enrolment was secondary in nature, having been collected from the internet (Vartanian, 2010). The data was primarily obtained from the Higher Education Students Agency (HESA) student records. The sight is used by colleges, universities and other higher education providers on an annual basis. HESA collects data on students which cover data about their personal characteristics, modules of study and course, and the qualifications that they have achieved.
Predicted outcome
Due to the progression of students from one level of higher education academic level to the next, it is predicted that the progression rate of students from the first degree to the postgraduate taught is higher than the progression rate of students from the postgraduate taught to the postgraduate research.
Data collection tools and data
Since the data was secondary in nature and readily available, there was no need for using a questionnaire to obtain desired data. Data that was obtained from HESA s as shown in the table below.
Table 1: First-year Higher education students’ enrolments by the level of study

Academic year

Postgraduate research

Postgraduate taught

First degree

Other undergraduate

2007/08

28,905

248,675

458,560

332,335

2008/09

30,320

276,335

494,050

344,145

2009/10

32,985

300,680

518,905

332,685

2010/11

34,400

300,945

518,090

291,995

2011/12

34,775

282,425

552,235

247,895

2012/13

34,570

271,475

495,325

170,880

2013/14

36,240

281,895

521,990

155,615

2014/15

36,320

281,440

526,885

144,240

2015/16

35,975

282,090

542,575

131,485

2016/17

35,340

308,985

548,415

120,745

From the table above, it is evident that most students who enroll in institutions of higher learning in the United Kingdom are first degree. The least enrolment can be seen n postgraduate research.
Trend analysis
Over the years, the number of students’ enrolment in the higher education space in the United Kingdom has been changing.   
From the figure above, it is evident that most student enrolment has been in the first degree while the least enrolment can be seen in the postgraduate research. However, the four levels show contrasting trends over the years from 2007/08 to 2016/17. The postgraduate research level has been relatively constant over the years. However, a different sight can be seen for the other three levels. Postgraduate taught has been on the increase from 2007/08 to 2009/10. However, from 2010/11 to 2016/16 the enrolment has been decreasing marginally but then picking up in 2015/16 to 2016/17.  The other undergraduate level is very different from postgraduate research and postgraduate taught. The enrolment numbers in the other undergraduate level have been on the decrease. The first-degree trend is very promising as it can be seen that the enrolment numbers have been on the rise since 2007/08 till 2016/17. However, there was a short drop in the enrolment numbers in 2011/12 but the numbers picked up positively to realize a new high in 2016/17 of 548,415 compared to the previous high in 2011/12 of 552,235.
Descriptive Analysis
To further delve into the details of the data, descriptive analysis was obtained. The output is a shown in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Descriptive analysis

 

Postgraduate research 

Postgraduate taught 

First degree 

Other undergraduate 

Mean

33983

283494.5

517703

227202

Median

34672.5

281992.5

520447.5

209387.5

Standard Deviation

2532.247794

17216.4236

28706.79

91987.93

Kurtosis

0.551589948

0.86662557

0.64242

-2.06269

Skewness

-1.245819328

-0.47310577

-0.85088

0.18127

Range

7415

60310

93675

223400

The postgraduate research has a mean of 33,983 number of students with a standard deviation of 2,532. The range of the postgraduate research is 7,415 with a median of 34,673. Consequently, the postgraduate taught has a mean of 283,495 number of students with a standard deviation of 17,216. The range of the postgraduate taught is 60,310 with a median of 281,993.
The first-degree level has a mean of 517,703 number of students with a standard deviation of 28,707. The range of the first-degree level is 93,675 with a median of 520,448. On the other hand, other undergraduate level has a mean of 227,202 number of students with a standard deviation of 91,988. The range of the other undergraduate level is 223,400 with a median of 209,388.
Data analysis
To determine the proportion of the students’ enrolment in the United Kingdom universities, the following chart was developed as seen below: 
From the chart above it is evident that the most level of education with the highest number of students is the first degree. Over the years from 2007/08 to 2016/17, the first degree level of education has been the most dominant. The trend cannot be seen to slow down any time soon thereby making the first degree a potential pool for future students for the other level of education. The other undergraduate level is the second dominant that is till 2012/13. The undergraduate can be seen to lose its popularity as the first-degree level continues to gain popularity. Therefore, it can be deduced that more students in the United Kingdom are opting for the first-degree level. Moreover, more students are also getting exemplary qualifications making them legible for the first degree without undergoing the other undergraduate level such as diploma courses. As the students get to clear their first degree, the number of students who opt to join the postgraduate taught lessens significantly. Thus, it can be deduced that the progression level from the first degree to postgraduate taught is low. However, throughout the years, these numbers can be seen as increasing rather marginally but the trend is encouraging. The dynamics of the modern workplace and economy requires people with a high skill set. Thus, this is forcing more people to get a further education rather than settling on their first degrees or other undergraduate qualifications. Such trends are bound to increase the numbers of those enrolling in postgraduate taught. The progression rate from postgraduate taught to postgraduate research decreases even further compared to the progression rate from the first degree to the postgraduate research. The number of students who opt for postgraduate research is very small compared to the other three levels of education at the university level in the United Kingdom. Thus, it can be deduced that most of the students who have passed the postgraduate taught tend to prefer less for the postgraduate research. Therefore, more needs to be done to ensure that the postgraduate research numbers can be improved in a bid to match it with the postgraduate taught.
Conclusion and future improvements
From the study above, it can be seen that most of the tests have been proven correct in accordance with the predictions. However, it has been seen that the progression levels of the students through the four levels have been decreasing. Thus, policies are needed to be put in place to encourage more students to pursue further levels of education as knowledge is power. The study may have limitations since only data used was from 2007/08 to 2017/18. To improve the study, future researchers should consider using data from as far back as possible to make the research more accurate.
Reference:
Enders, J., 2004. Higher education, internationalization, and the nation-state: Recent developments and challenges to governance theory. Higher education, 47(3), pp.361-382.
Marginson, S., 2006. Dynamics of national and global competition in higher education. Higher education, 52(1), pp.1-39.
Scott, P., 2005. The globalization of higher education. In Higher Education Re-formed (pp. 101-118). Routledge.
Teferra, D. and Altbachl, P.G., 2004. African higher education: Challenges for the 21st century. Higher education, 47(1), pp.21-50.
Teichler, U., 2004. The changing debate on internationalization of higher education. Higher education, 48(1), pp.5-26.
Vartanian, T.P., 2010. Secondary data analysis. Oxford University Press.
Yorke, M. and Longden, B., 2008. The first-year experience in higher education in the UK. York: Higher Education Academy.

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