The reasons why students fail in the university have been a subject of interest to educational researchers, parents, and policymaker. And because of my interest in the said topic, I have decided to put my opinion down based on my experience and observation.
Why Do Students Fail in University?
- Lack of interest in the course of study
It is common to see a student studying a course in a university that he intended not to study in Nigeria. For example, a student who wanted to study medicine and surgery but was offered admission to study veterinary medicine and he accepted the offer because he has stayed home for years without securing admission.
Most students in this category do experience a lack of interest and commitment to their new reality. And it has been established that lack of interest will breed a lack of responsibility which results in poor performance.
- Inability to cope with the transition from secondary school to University
The problem of transition from upper secondary to the university has also been seen as one of the reasons why a student fails in the university especially during their first year.
I observed that some of my friends who are doing well academically when we were in secondary school were unable to graduate with at least second class upper (2:1). I discovered that some of them were unable to change early from the ways they were accustomed to which wasn’t obtainable in the university.
New students in the university must ensure that to integrate with the new environment; one must know that in the university learning materials becomes extensive and complex. Also, the expectations from your lecturers differ from that of your teachers in secondary school.
- Lack of fundamental concepts
It is impossible to build a lasting and robust house on a weak foundation. The same is true in academics. Failure to understand fundamental concepts is one of the reasons why students fail in the university.
A student who has a problem understanding the basic concept of calculus while in upper school will have a hard time coping with MTS 201 in the university. It means that there is a correlation between solid academic backgrounds while in secondary school with academic success in the university.
- Inadequate study skills
Some students had not established effective working routines for independent studying at school and, for many, the study strategies they had used in school proved inadequate within higher education (Ole-Johan Eikeland and Terge Manger, 1992).
It means that students must personally take more responsibility for their education through reading while attending lectures, and tutorials.
One of the effective ways to study for exams at the university is to explore the mode of setting questions for each lecturer you are taking their course – this can be done using past questions. This way, you are on the path to succeed in the exam.
- Wrong association
There are some groups of people in the university who have no time for academic works and with no clear cut of why they are in school. Joining this kind of groups will not only cause academic failure but can mar one’s life.