Profiling students using an institutional information portal:a descriptive study of the Bachelor of Arts degree students,University of South Africa

  • Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha University of South Africa, Department of Information Science
Keywords: Data mining, profiling students, institutional information portals


Using data mining techniques, this study examines the Bachelor of Arts (General) degrees data available in the University of South Africas institutional information and analysis portal (IP) maintained by the Department of Information and Strategic Analysis (DISA). The purpose of this was to draw a demographic profile of the students and demonstrate the potential use of an IP in monitoring and evaluating the performance of individual qualifications as far as registrations, cancellations and graduation rates are concerned. Data were analysed in order to determine the students age, gender, occupational, home language and geographic distributions and the relationships between the incoming, re-entering, degree completed and graduation headcounts. It was observed, among other findings, that the BA(G) degree attracts students with diverse characteristics; there is a general continued decline in the number of students registering as well as completing the qualification; the number of students cancelling registrations in BA(G) has continued to grow since 2005; and that there is a significant positive correlation between (a) the incoming and graduation headcounts; (b) incoming and degree completed headcounts; (c) degree completed and graduation headcounts; and (d) graduation and total registration headcounts. Other findings as well as conclusions and recommendations are offered.
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