Does student Empowerment improve their Academic Performance? Evidence from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro

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There is a growing interest in understanding the relationship between student empowerment and their academic performance. This paper examined this relationship in the context of university students learning environments. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design using a combination of simple random and systematic sampling techniques involving 200 undergraduate students. The constructs of Psychological Empowerment Instrument (PEI) and the Learner Empowerment Scale (LES) were used to construct Likert scale questions in estimating the students’ empowerment. Descriptive statistical analysis was employed, and a summated scale approach was used to analyse Likert scale questions in estimating the level of empowerment. Correlation analysis was employed to gauge the relationship of the construct of empowerment and academic performance. The results show that the majority of students (82%) had moderate academic performance (GPA 3.0-3.9) out of a maximum of 5.0; the rest 9 and 9 percent had GPAs of below3.0 and above 3.9, respectively. The majority of the respondents (62%) were categorized into low levels of empowerment. Female respondents were more likely to be categorized into higher levels of empowerment than were their male counterparts at 40.7 and 35.8 percent respectively. All paired linear relationships between the constructs of student empowerment were positive. The strength of the linear relationship different construct of empowerment varied from moderate to strong but all had a significant relationship (p <0.05). The linear relationship between the constructs of empowerment and academic performance (GPA) was weak and none of them had any significant relationship. Therefore, overall, there was no linear relationship and association between the level of academic performance and the construct of empowerment. It is recommended to the Ministry of Education and university management to focus on the strategies that would improve student empowerment and academic performance such as student cantered and participatory approaches.



student empowerment, academic performance, academic competence