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Berlanga, Vanesa; Figuera Pilar  & Pons-Fanals, Ernest (2013). Impact of the "salary scholarship": impact profile and student achievement.  RELIEVE, v. 19 (2), art. 2. DOI: 10.7203/relieve.19.2.3023

     

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IMPACT OF THE "SALARY SCHOLARSHIP": IMPACT PROFILE AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

[Incidencia de la beca salario: impacto, perfil y rendimiento de los estudiantes]

 

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Berlanga, Vanesa (berlanga.silvente@ub.edu)

Figuera, Pilar (pfiguera@ub.edu)

Pons-Fanals, Ernest (epons@ub.edu)

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Abstract

    In Spain, within the framework of the Strategy 2015, the implementation of scholarships, grants and wages especially adapted to the new situation of the European Higher Education, intended to ensure access to university education to those most disadvantaged social groups economically. This research makes an ex post facto, descriptive-comparative aimed at assessing the impact of the grant salary, as an economic factor, on equity, access and academic performance in the first year of college. The study was conducted with a total of 10,394 new students in the 2010-11 cohort at the University of Barcelona, from the database from the institution itself. A total of 642 students agreed to grant salary, with differences depending on the branch of knowledge, gender, and the path to college. In relation to their peers, scholarship students come from families with occupations and / or study less, so scholarships model contributes to equity in access. In relation to performance analysis, scholarship students enrolled and present, on average, a larger number of subjects in order to meet the academic requirements for scholarship renewal, but the results are final academic in several branches knowledge, influenced negatively. One possible explanation is the largest academic pressure of this group in a phase usually complicated: the transition to college.

 

Resumen

  En España, dentro del marco de la Estrategia 2015, la implantación de las becas de estudio, y especialmente las becas salario adaptadas a la nueva situación del Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior, pretenden garantizar el acceso a los estudios universitarios a aquellos grupos sociales más desfavorecidos económicamente. La presente investigación realiza un estudio ex post facto, de carácter descriptivo-comparativo dirigido a valorar la incidencia de la beca salario, como factor económico, sobre la equidad, el acceso y sobre el rendimiento académico en el primer año de universidad. El estudio se ha realizado con un total de 10.394 estudiantes de nuevo acceso de la cohorte 2010-11 de la Universidad de Barcelona, a partir de la base de datos procedentes de la propia institución. Un total de 642 estudiantes accedieron con la beca salario, con diferencias en función de la rama de conocimiento, el sexo y la vía de acceso a la universidad. En relación a sus compañeros, los estudiantes con beca provienen de familias con niveles ocupaciones y/o de estudios inferiores, de manera que el modelo de becas contribuye a la equidad en el acceso. En relación al análisis del rendimiento, los estudiantes con beca se matriculan y se presentan, en promedio, a un mayor número de asignaturas con la finalidad de cubrir los requisitos académicos de renovación de becas, pero los resultados académicos finales se ven, en varias ramas de conocimiento, influidos negativamente. Una posible explicación es la mayor presión académica de este colectivo en una fase de por sí complicada: la transición a la universidad.  

Keywords

 Equity, grants policy, grant salary, performance, branch of knowledge

 

Descriptores

   Equidad, política de becas, beca salario, rendimiento, rama de conocimiento.

 



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Gómez-Ruiz, Rodríguez-Gómez & Ibarra-Sáiz, (2013). Desarrollo de las competencias básicas de los estudiantes de Educación Superior mediante la e-Evaluación orientada al aprendizaje


Volumen 19, n. 2


    The social dimension of the Superior Education is one of the core elements of the international university policies in these beginnings of the XXI century (Eurydice, 2011). Attending the social dimension of the university system is essential, among other things, to prevent good students and excellent students with talent, leave the system due to their socioeconomic conditions. As Ariño notes (2009), only increasing the opportunities for a greater number of people in the access to university will also offer talent opportunities, in a society based on the knowledge of production. The social dimension of superior education represents the largest challenge for European cooperation since participatory equity must exist in superior education and for that we must provide the resources and services needed.

    The concept of participatory equity has to do with checking to what extent the group of participating students that enrol and complete university studies, reflect the socioeconomic and cultural diversity of our societies. Although there hasn't developed a systematic analysis of the factors of inequity in the recent documentation of the Bologna process, when it comes to underrepresented groups, it is referring primarily to the following: Categories defined by their socioeconomic status, categories defined by its cultural and educational capital, minorities, people with disabilities, mature age, gender, people with insufficient formal qualifications and residents in underserved geographic regions.

   Spain shares a state transition that could qualify, along with countries such as Poland, Italy and Portugal, characterized by an under-representation of students from families with low educational level. This suggests that our education system has the capacity to motivate students from families with average educational levels to go to university (a very positive aspect that allows the expansion and improvement), but at the same time an inability to attract the children of families with low educational level, an aspect which is clearly in a hierarchy and segregating direction (Ariño and Llopis, 2011).

   In short, the new role play of educational inequalities in the society and the persistence of inequalities in education and the possibility of stagnation in the process of broadening the base of university tuition as a result of early failure worries. In sum, there can be no excellence without equity.equity.

Economic factors in the transition and university persistence

   Recent international studies on university dropouts indicate the economic conditions as one of the key factors in the explanation of the persistence and of the university graduation. The results contribute to target data on the importance of considering different strategies to ensure fairness in the system, since the concept of participatory equity formulated as the equitable distribution not only opportunities of  access, but of trajectories (persistence) and outcomes (graduation). Transition paths, the risk of abandonment and persistence have different results between certain groups, specifically: pupils from socially disadvantaged contexts, ethnic minorities, first generation (Bowen, Chingos and McPherson, 2009; Figuera and Torrado, 2013; Gairín, Figuera and Triadó 2010; Rowan-Kenyon, Bell and Perna, 2008).

   Especially significant are the jobs  of Cabrera and colleagues (Cabrera, Burkum, LaNasa and Bibo, in press, John, Cabrera, Nora and Asker, 2000), who conclude that the determinants of persistence and graduation rates vary by the socioeconomic levels of students, placing previous academic background as a key differentiator factor that is influenced by SES (socioeconomic status). The economic factor has its weight in any decision about the university continuity, and its influence is much more significant at the beginning of the activity as a university student. Apparently, the most relevant consequences of economic factors occur at the time of the deposit into higher education, as in this period most students should consider their economic situation to structure their decisions (Tinto, 2010). 

   For this reason we can say that the aid provided to students in the form of scholarships are an important factor in the chances of retention and, as noted by Yorke and Longden (2008), the funding model and the system of scholarships and grants are institutional factors that must be included in a dropout prevention model. Thus Nora model (1990) places the influence of the economic variables in the decisions of persistence of the students and indirectly in the results thereof.

   Consistent with the results of previous research they have developed interesting intervention programs, preventive, including actions prior to university access, increasing the opportunities for training background, coupled with a system of grants to facilitate the commitment to study and to the university life. These programs increase involvement in studies and in the university, key factors of integration and persistence in the system, especially in those students with low educational levels, as are highlighted the works of Tinto, Pascarella, Terenzini and Cabrera (cit. to, Figuera and Torrado, 2013).

The scholarship policy as a measure of retention

   Measures of retention, the policies of scholarships and study aids favour the equity and guarantee an income for families with lower levels of resources, thereby enhancing equal opportunities. It has to be avoided generating a new kind of inequality between rich and poor in knowledge, facilitating equal opportunities in higher education through an appropriate impulse of the policy of scholarships and grants. Under the international policy of scholarships it has been treated as an institutional key factor in the prevention of abandonment, in the persistence and retention of students. We must strengthen the system of scholarships and student aid, stimulating at the same time, the best performance of the students and paying special attention to those who are in a disadvantaged situation.

   In the Royal Decree 1721/2007, of 21 December, which establishes the system of study grants and personalized scholarships is defined as: "the amount or economic benefit granted to start or continue studies leading to obtaining a degree or an official valid certificate throughout the national territory, taking into account the socio-economic circumstances and the applicant's academic use". It is in its very definition which we link the "scholarship" as an economic factor to the factor of "persistence and transition" in all those studies leading to obtain an official degree (graduation).

   In Spain, within the framework of the Strategy 2015, the implementation of study scholarships and especially wages scholarships - adapted to the new situation of the European Higher Education Area - represent an important development. The aim of these new scholarships is to ensure access to university studies to those economically disadvantaged social groups. The incorporation of the salary grant involves one of the early stages of implementation of the new funding model.

   This new model of scholarships and grants began to be introduced from the course 2009-10 (Reel Decree 922/2009, of May 29) with the incorporation of the scholarship salary (initially 2,800 Euros) for undergraduate students who expected to increase year after year, both the amount and the number of beneficiaries. The scholarship salaries consist in an evolution and modernization of the old compensatory scholarships, such as scholarships truly substitute for wages (IPREM). This scholarship involves full-time dedication to studies and it's not only aimed to increase annually the amount to reach 6500-7000 Euros but also to increase the number of aids under this section by updating the corresponding thresholds. The amount of the scholarship for the academic year 2010-11 was 3,500 Euros and the income 1 was established from a maximum of 3,962 Euros for a family member. We remind you that the students who are in this threshold are entitled to, as long as they meet the other requirements, other aids: a compensatory aid maintenance grant, travel, residence, schooling, tuition, school supplies or studies and project limit.

   Progressively was planned to include the rest of scholarships described in the new model, so that by 2020 the new established model would be completely into force and repealed the current scholarship system. You have to consider that the economic situation has limited the past two academic years, the application of the model.

Objectives

   The purpose of the investigation is to rate the incidence of the scholarship, as an economic factor, on equity, the access and the academic performance in the first year of university. We examine, in relation to the general population, the volume and characteristics of students entering the University of Barcelona with a scholarship salary and performance award in the first year of university. We use the available data on all students who entered the undergraduate studies at the University of Barcelona the 2010-11 academic year to try to analyze to what extent these objectives are met.

   In our analysis we assume that the salary scholarship system is to contribute to the fairness of the university system. And that is specified with two objectives: 1) provide access to the university to students that without this scholarship could not afford these studies, and 2) improve the academic performance of students with scholarship salary to the extent that it can free them from the need to combine their studies with a work commitment.

   Regarding the first point (1), the only thing that allows this information is identifying whether the students profile with a scholarship salary is different from the rest of other students profiles. In the extent that these two profiles were different between them could interpreted as favourable evidence to that is fulfilled the proposed hypothesis. That is to say that thanks to these scholarships entering the university are students that wouldn´t enter otherwise.

   In relation to the second point (2) we are going to compare the performance of the students with scholarship salary and the rest of students. To check if it is true that the granting of these scholarships has an effect on the students performance.

Methodology

Procedure

   The research is an ex post facto descriptive-comparative where we have analyzed data from the institutional base (analysis tool) that integrates information from incoming students belonging to a total of 68 degrees of the branches of knowledge of Arts and Humanities, Science, Engineering and Architecture, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Law, of the University of Barcelona [1] during 2010-11.

   From the methodological perspective there has been selected as an independent variable the scholarship salary and the following dependent variables: socio-demographic variables (sex, age, income, occupational status and parental education), previous academic background (via access and PAU note), branch of knowledge and performance (subjects enrolled, subjects submitted, subjects passed and average grade of the first year).

Population

   The study population consists of 10,394 new students in the 2010-11 cohort at the University of Barcelona, of which 642 are university students with the scholarship salary. It has been taken as reference for the study the cohort of access to the university in the academic year 2010-11, because it is the academic year in which we can consider the new Scholarship program implemented.

Data Analysis 

   For the treatment and analysis of data the computer program SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), version 18.0. has been used. They have made the following analysis: univariate descriptive of all the variables involved, bivariate descriptive to explore the relationship between the variables, Normality tests and nonparametric contrast tests to determine the significance of the differences found. 

Results

   The results presented here are part of a research work with more information about the scholarship salary, its effectiveness and its efficiency. Research work in addition to the academic information of students at some universities, plans to include general information on the overall salary grants awarded in the Spanish university system, as well as  the results of a survey and a set of interviews to students, some with and some without a salary scholarship.

Reality of a salary scholarship

   To put our analysis correctly, it seems appropriate to first define some characteristics of the context of these scholarship salaries. In the 2009-10 academic year 333 scholarship salaries were awarded to Undergraduate students from the University of Barcelona, while in the year 2010-11 there were 642, almost double, accounting the 6.2% of students (10,394) of new entrants to the degrees of the University of Barcelona in the 2010-11 academic year. This is a significant percentage considering that the economic conditions to be met by students to apply for this scholarship are really demanding. If we take the latest data available on the incidence of salary grants in Spanish territory level (2009-10) data shows that the percentage of students who had obtained a scholarship salary in the University of Barcelona is clearly lower (4.8%) than the set state (8,1%)[2]. This difference can be attributed probably to the territorial differences in the level of available income.

   The distribution of students with scholarship salaries by branches of knowledge shows a higher proportion of students enrolled in studies of Social Sciences, as observed in chart 1. And, at the other end, under-representation of students from the branch of Engineering and Architecture (degrees represented in the University of Barcelona).

   The analysis of the data based on the number of students of each branch of knowledge shows interesting differences and the highest proportion of students with scholarship salary is in the branch of Social Sciences and Law (Table 1).

Chart 1. Branches of knowledge according to a scholarship student.

Table 1. Valuation of students with a scholarship salary by branches of knowledge

Branches of knowledge

%  of students with a scholarship salary

Total number of new students

Arts and Humanities

5.4%

2,227

Science

5.5%

1,241

Engineering and Architecture

4.8%

210

Health Sciences

5.7%

1,324

Social Sciences and Law

6.8%

5,335

Total UB

6.2%

10,337

 

Profile of students with scholarship salary

   In relation to socio-demographic characteristics, we can see that the volume of women with scholarship salaries is considerably higher in general than men (445 women versus 197 men). While the University of Barcelona, and social studies in particular are feminized, the data shows that women receive in proportion more scholarship salaries (7% of women compared with 4.9% of men in the case of the students of the University of Barcelona). The 75% of freshmen (salary Scholarship) are aged up to 22 years, with no differences with all new students.

   Regarding socioeconomic variables, the database includes two indicators of social and family background: the occupational level and educational level of parents. The results show differences in relation to the general profile of the promotion. The educational level of the parents of the students who have obtained scholarship salary is lower, as shown in chart 2, than the other students. Relationship that is maintained in the analysis of the second family background indicator considered: occupational level.

 

Chart 2. Educational level of the parents

   Regarding the previous academic background we only find significant differences in the path to university. So, the proportion of students with scholarship salaries that attend to university after completing the Higher Level Training Cycles are clearly superior compared to students in the same class that have no scholarship salary (32.2% compared to 16.8 %).

   In reference to the marks obtained in the entrance exam to the University (PAU), the Levène test, which is used to verify the homogeneity of variances, rules out the possibility of using a parametric test for which we use nonparametric tests: Mann-Whitney of U (Ferrán, 2002) to analyze if there are any differences between groups. The result of this test reveals that there are no significant differences in relation with their mates without a scholarship salary (p ≤ 0.183).

Scholarship salary and academic performance

   To analyze to which extent a scholarship salary may be helping to improve the academic performance of the scholarship students, we are going to consider two measurements: a) the number of subjects submitted, and b) the average of the subjects submitted. In addition, we also consider other performance indicators such as the filing fee, the success rate and the rate of return.

   The performance in the first year of university is one of the main conditions of the persistence of scholarship students who must meet the academic requirements to maintain aid: number of subjects enrolled and approved. To put the data on the number of subjects submitted it must be noted that at the University of Barcelona the new students may enrol full time (10 subjects of 6 ECTS each) or part time (30-36 ECTS). But the reality is that the proportion of students who choose part-time enrolment has been in recent testimonial courses, with a ratio below 1%. In the case of the students that apply for scholarships it is required to enrol full-time. This is the reason why it was decided to measure the performance from the number of subjects presented instead of the percentage of subjects enrolled. In the immense majority of students the number of enrolled subjects is the same, except for those students with previous studies that allow some form of academic recognition (old validations).

   Below we present in the Table 2 a comparison between some data on students with scholarship salaries and the rest. The information available to compare whether these values are statistically different. The results of the test Mann-Whitney of U reveals that the difference is significant with a confidence level of 95% as to the number of subjects enrolled (p ≤ 0.000) and the success rate (p ≤ 0.008). Specifically, students with scholarship salary enrol more subjects (due to the conditions imposed by the granting of the scholarship) but their success rate is lower than their non-scholarship mates.

Table 2. Differences between students with scholarship and no scholarship

 

No scholarship

Scholarship

p-value

Subjects enrolled > 5

85.6%

93.9%

.000

Subjects submitted > 5

75.4%

85.4%

.096

Courses approved  > 5

64.5%

72.4%

.891

Filing Fee1 > 0.75

85.9%

87.9%

.177

Success Rate2 > 0.75

74.7%

70.1%

.008

Rate of Performance3 > 0.75

69.2%

66.5%

.118

1Filing Fee (Subjects submitted / Subjects enrolled)

2Success Rate (Courses approved / Subjects submitted)

3Rate of Performance (Courses approved / Subjects enrolled)

    On the other hand, if we look at the average, the medium contrast (Mann-Whitney U test) reveals that significant differences exist (p ≤ 0.001) between scholarship students and non scholarship students. The difference is in favour of the non-scholarship students with an average of 6.03 compared to an average of 5.83 on students with scholarship salary.

   The initial data of the subjects presented shows that 46.4% (Table 3) of the students with scholarships have presented to 10 or more subjects. That is, to all registered, as in the case of the new students in the University of Barcelona the maximum of subjects enrolled is 10. The comparative analysis with fellow students without a scholarship that study shows that the volume of subjects submitted is greater in those who have received a scholarship. The Mann-Whitney U test confirms that there are significant differences (p ≤ 0.001) between the profiles. A parametric test hasn't been used, as the data did not meet the standard of homoscedasticity necessary. This means that students without a scholarship submit to less subjects, on average 8.2 subjects instead of 8.6.

Scholarship salary and branches of knowledge

a) the number of subjects submitted

   Moreover, the analysis of the subjects submitted by students who enjoy a scholarship salary in relation to other students, shows a different pattern when analyzed in terms of the branch to which each degree belongs to (Tables 3 and 4).

   First we observe in these tables significant differences in the number of subjects submitted by students according to the branch of the degree. Thereby, in the branch of Science and Social Sciences and Law, the percentage of students who submit to all the subjects is much higher than in the fields of Arts and Humanities, Health Sciences and Engineering and Architecture.

   If you look at the differences between students with a scholarship salary and the rest we can see other interesting aspects. So on one hand we have in the branches of Social Sciences and Law, Engineering and Architecture and Arts and Humanities Scholarship students who submit to more subjects than the students with no scholarship. In contrast, in the branches of Health Sciences the exact opposite happens, that students with a scholarship salary submits to less subjects. In the branch of science, however, no differences between them.

Table 3. Valuation of subjects submitted by branches of knowledge

Branches of knowledge

Subjects submitted

No scholarship salary

Scholarship salary

=<7

8-9

>= 10

=<7

8-9

>= 10

Arts and Humanities

44.5%

38.5%

17.0%

27.4%

47.0%

25.6%

Science

29.6%

19.1%

51.3%

34.3%

14.9%

50.7%

Engineering & Architecture

45.7%

19.7%

34.6%

50.0%

10.0%

40.0%

Health Sciences

16.5%

41.9%

41.6%

7.3%

61.8%

30.9%

Social Sciences and Law

22.4%

30.6%

47.1%

13.4%

31.7%

54.9%

Total

28.1%

31.7%

40.1%

18.5%

35.1%

46.4%

   Anyway, they should consider the qualifications of the engineering  and architecture branch as a separate case since the number of subjects that the student must pass to keep the scholarship in subsequent courses is 6 instead of 8, as occurs in the degrees in the rest of the branches. This result is important as it demonstrates that the requirements and / or criteria for the concession or renewal of the scholarships have a direct impact on the strategies of the students. So, up to 50% of salary Scholarship students are in this situation, compared with 45.7% of those without a salary scholarship. While another group of students choose to submit to more subjects so that a 40% of salary Scholarship students submit to all enrolled subjects, instead of the 34% among those without the scholarship.

   The Mann-Whitney U test confirms that there are significant differences between profiles (scholarship and non scholarship) by branch of knowledge. We have identified two branches of knowledge with significant differences in relation to the number of subjects submitted: the Arts and Humanities branch (p ≤ 0.001) and the Social Sciences and Law branch (p ≤ 0.002), where the scholarship students submit to more subjects than the rest of their non-scholarship.

Table 4. Contrast of half of the number of subjects presented by branches of knowledge

 

No scholarship

Scholarship

p-value

Arts and Humanities

6.8

7.6

.001

Science

8.1

8.0

.771

Engineering and Architecture

7.4

7.5

.970

Health Sciences

9.5

9.3

.254

Social Sciences and Law

8.5

8.9

.002

 b) the average of the subjects submitted

   In contrast Mann-Whitney U test shows that there are significant differences (p ≤ 0.000) in the performance in the first year of university, measured by the average of the subjects submitted. The averages show that the differences are in favour of the non-scholarship students. The average score of students with scholarships (5.6) is less than their study mates (5.9).

Table 5. Distribution of the average score by branches of knowledge

Branches of knowledge

Average

No scholarship salary

Scholarship salary

=<4.9

5-6.9

>=7

=<4.9

5-6.9

>=7

Arts and Humanities

19.5%

49.7%

30.8%

27.2%

50.9%

21.9%

Science

33.6%

45.9%

20.5%

42.4%

47.0%

10.6%

Engineering and Architecture

60.3%

29.3%

10.3%

60.0%

30.0%

10.0%

Health Sciences

14.7%

40.3%

44.9%

14.9%

41.9%

43.2%

Social Sciences and Law

27.9%

45.6%

26.5%

33.5%

45.7%

20.8%

Total

25.8%

45.5%

28.8%

31.5%

46.1%

22.5%

    The analysis by branches of knowledge through contrasting hypotheses performed using the Mann-Whitney U test evidence that there are some significant differences. In Science degrees (p ≤ 0.017) and in the Social Sciences and law (p ≤ 0.017), the results follow the same trend of the whole, that is to say the performance between students with scholarship is lower (Tables 5 and 6). Coincides with those careers where scholarship students enrolling a larger number of subjects (see Table 3) and therefore academic pressure would be higher. We observe how in the Social Sciences and Law branch scholarship students submit to more subjects but their average score is lower than the rest of their peers  (Tables 4 and 6). In all the rest of branches of knowledge there are no differences between the two groups of students.

Table 6. Average contrast of the average grades by branches of knowledge

Branches of knowledge

No scholarship

Scholarship

p-value

Arts and Humanities

6.2

6.0

.080

Science

5.6

5.1

.017

Engineering and Architecture

4.5

4.6

.912

Health Sciences

6.6

6.5

.604

Social Sciences and Law

6.0

5.8

.017

 Discussion and conclusions 

   The social dimension is one of the objectives of the 2015 Strategy. In this new framework, scholarships and grants are to provide equal opportunities, promote research and academic performance and national and international mobility. But the importance of scholarship programs doesn´t limit to its obvious contribution to equity, but also expects to help improve the educational efficiency, under the assumption that exploit the potential of many young people from low income families, becoming a persistence factor for obtaining a degree. 

   The results display some data in relation to the early stages of application of the new funding model through the incorporation of the "scholarship salary". T he data confirms an increase in the students access to university with a scholarship salary, in relation to the previous promotion. However, the distribution by areas of knowledge is uneven. 

   The analysis in the whole population, leads us to observe that there aren´t any significant differences in the access profile of both groups of students, regardless of socioeconomic variables and the sex. The data shows that women receive in proportion more scholarships (7% of women compared with 4.9% of men in the case of students of the University of Barcelona). To explain this difference we can advance some hypotheses as a greater motivation or active attitude from the students. Although the available information does not allow us to confirm whether this is the cause or not, in any way it is an important difference that must be taken into account. In reference to the average age of the new students, the data allows us to rule out that the scholarship salary allows access to the university students that are already inserted in the labour market

   As expected the family member background variables (occupational level and studies of the parents) of the university students with scholarships show differences in relation to the overall profile. The educational level of the parents of students who have obtained a scholarship salary is lower. Relation that is maintained in the analysis of the second family background indicator considered: occupational level. Therefore, the scholarship salary is no longer an input mechanism for those students that without the scholarship would have had greater economic difficulties in accessing university. The results also show a type of student who does not follow this tendency: they are children of qualified and / or superior studies that access with a scholarship salary. Although the proportion is small we can advance some possible explanations, like the influence on the household economy of the economic crisis that has affected our country at all occupational levels; or the source from single parent families. 

   Regarding the previous academic background, the profile of both types doesn't present significant differences with one only exception: the path of entry. The proportion of salary scholarship students entering university after completing the Higher Level Training Cycles is clearly superior compared to students in the same class that have no salary scholarship. One possible explanation would be in the main presence of students of Higher Level Training Course in the careers of Social Sciences. But one could also consider the fact that low-income students, initially will pose an academic project of short route (as is the case of Higher Level Training Course, first level of higher education in Europe) and that the scholarship has allowed access to university. In this sense it is important to consider the specific study of this group of students whose promotion at university level is increasing year by year. No differences in the grade obtained in the entrance exam to the University (PAU), since the obtainment of the salary scholarship has no academic requirements in the first year of university. 

   In relation to the influence of the scholarship salary on the students performance, the results are not so conclusive. The analysis of the database at this early stage of research has allowed to show that scholarship students enrol and present, on average, a greater number of subjects in order to meet the academic requirements for renewal of scholarships. We remind you that to extend the scholarship to the next year its necessary (during 10-11) that the student with a scholarship exceeds the 80% of the credits enrolled. It seems that the granting of the scholarship permits a more intense dedication to studies, releasing the student from the need to engage in any paid work. But the performance on the set of knowledge areas shows differences to highlight. Scholarship Students of Social Sciences and Law, Engineering and Architecture and Arts and Humanities submit to more subjects than those who do not have scholarship. In Health Sciences the exact opposite happens, that students with a salary scholarship submit fewer subjects, while in the field of science, there are no differences between them. Although we must consider that the entry requirements are different, the observed differences are at least interesting. And they advise a study that takes into consideration the academic requirements and educational and organizational characteristics of each discipline area as a possible explanation to the results obtained.

   In general, scholarship students submit to more subjects but their success rate (approved courses / subjects submitted) and average grade is lower than their classmates without scholarship. This is a very interesting difference because it goes against what could have been a plausible hypothesis in our analysis. Specifically, it may have seemed reasonable that students with scholarship salary, to the extent that it allows a more intense dedication to studies, will translate into a higher note. Instead, we note that scholarship students haven´t got an average grade higher than non-scholarship. The explanation or justification of this result apparently may be related with two possibilities:

a) That the absence of any requirement in terms of average grade point to continue to have the scholarship salary in later courses, causes the student to not have incentives to achieve better grades.

b) The need to ensure a number of subjects submitted and passed as a requirement to continue the availability of the scholarship (8 with general character and 6 degrees in the case of Engineering and Architecture) causes an increased pressure on the student with scholarship.

c) A third possibility has to do with the fact that, given the unfavourable socio-economic conditions of students with a salary scholarship, these inputs have a wealth of knowledge and skills lest than the rest of students. And that not always the scholarship salary allows to compensate this initial bias. Yes it affects the number of subjects submitted but not in the performance measured from the grades.

   Therefore, a first conclusion would be that the concessions of a scholarship salary doesn´t guarantee by itself a more intense dedication to studies that behave a higher yield. One possible explanation is the largest academic pressure of this group in a phase usually complicated: the transition to university. But we must also consider that the effects of family context variables may indirectly influence the academic results of the students, through factors such as cultural context-family, the possibility to access additional courses at the university, social network, etc. (in line with the ideas of writers like Cabrera and others, 2012). Beyond financial support, the university should assess the application of institutional programs including cultural support of these groups to ensure equity persecuted by the system. 

   Another conclusion that emerges from the data is that the student's reaction to the need to ensure a minimum number of subjects submitted to retain the scholarship in subsequent courses is not the same in the different branches. Thus, the observed differences between the different types of study suggest the existence of multiple realities related to teaching and organizational characteristics of each discipline area. It would therefore be advisable a study in-depth of the processes of transition to the university of the students in order to analyze the real impact of the scholarship salary. The results presented in this paper suggest that this is an important dimension to examine the differences in the academic performance. 

   Finally note that basing the analysis on data related to a single university can be targeted for prevention to the extent that the results can´t be extrapolated to the entire university system. However, the University of Barcelona is the largest university in Catalonia in terms of degree students and the second largest in Spain. It also includes a very diverse range of titles including studies of the five branches of knowledge.

References

Ariño, A. (2009). La dimensión social y la innovación en el Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior. Revista d’Innovació Educativa, 2, 2-9.

Ariño, A. & Llopis, R. (Dirs.) (2011). ¿Universidad sin clases? Condiciones de vida de los estudiantes universitarios en España (Eurostudent IV). Madrid: Ministerio de Educación.

Bowen, W. G., Chingos, M. M. & McPherson, M. S. (2009). Crossing the finish line: Completing college at America’s public universities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Cabrera, A., Burkum, K.R., LaNasa, S.M. & Bibo, E.W. (en prensa). Pathways to a Four-Year Degree: Determinants of Transfer and Degree Completion among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Students. En A. Seidman (ed.), College student retention. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Eurydice (2011). La modernización de la educación superior en Europa 2011: financiación y dimensión social. Bruselas: Eurydice

Ferrán Aranaz, M. (2002). Curso de SPSS para Windows. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

Figuera, P. y Torrado, M (2013). El contexto académico como factor diferenciador en la transición a la universidad. Revista Contrapontos, 13(1), 33-41.

Gairín, J., Figuera, P. i Triadó, X. M. (coords.) (2010). Abandonament dels estudiants a les universitats catalanes. Barcelona: Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya.

John, E. P., Cabrera, A. F., Nora, A. & Asker, E. H. (2000). Economic influences on persistence reconsidered. En J. M. Braxton [ed.]. Reworking the Student Departure Puzzle (pp. 29-47). Nashville (TN): Vanderbilt University.

Ministerio de Educación (2011). Estrategia 2015. Contribución de las universidades al progreso socioeconómico español. Madrid.

Ministerio de Educación, Real Decreto 1721/2007, de 21 de diciembre, por el que establece el régimen de las becas y ayudas al estudio personalizadas. (BOE número 15 de 17/1/2008).

Ministerio de Educación, Real Decreto 922/2009, de 29 de mayo, por el que se establecen los umbrales de renta y patrimonio familiar y las cuantías de las becas y ayudas al estudio del Ministerio de Educación para el curso 2009-2010. (BOE número 131, de 30 de mayo de 2009).

Nora, A. (1990). Campus-based programs as determinants of retention among Chicano college students. Journal of Higher Education, 61 (3), 312-331.

Rowan-Kenyon, H.T., Bell, A.D. & Perna, L. W. (2008). Contextual influences on parental involvement in college going: variations by socioeconomic class. The Journal of Higuer Education, 79, 5, 564-586.

Tinto, V. (2010). From theory to action: Exploring the institutional conditions for student retention. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Vol. XXV, 51–90.

Yorke, M. & Longden, B. (2008). The first-year experience of higher education in the UK. York, UK: The Higher Education Academy.


NOTES

[1] We thank this University and, in particular, the staff of the Academic educational Planning area, there collaboration to make this research possible.

[2] Check Facts and Figures of the Spanish university system. Course 2010-11. http://www.mecd.gob.es/dctm/ministerio/educacion/universidades/estadisticas-informes/novedades/2011-datos-cifras-10-uv.pdf?documentId=0901e72b809384a4

 


ABOUT THE AUTHORS SOBRE LOS AUTORES

Berlanga, Vanesa (berlanga.silvente@ub.edu). Profesora asociada del Departamento de Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación en la Universidad de Barcelona. Actualmente desarrolla la Tesis Doctoral en la Universidad de Barcelona, dentro del programa de doctorado "Educación y Sociedad". Es la autora de contacto para este artículo. Su dirección postal es: Dpto. Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación. Paseo de la Vall d’Hebron, 171. 08035, Barcelona (España). Buscar otros artículos de esta autora en Google Académico / Find other articles by this author in Scholar Google

Figuera, Pilar (pfiguera@ub.edu). Doctora en Ciencias de la Educación. Profesora Titular de Orientación Profesional del Departamento de Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación en la Universidad de Barcelona. Coordinadora del Máster de Psicopedagogía de la Universidad de Barcelona y Directora del Equipo de Investigación TRALS (Transiciones académicas y laborales). Su dirección postal es: Dpto. Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación. Paseo de la Vall d’Hebron, 171. 08035, Barcelona (España). Buscar otros artículos de esta autora en Google Académico / Find other articles by this author in Scholar Google

 

Pons-Fanals, Ernest (epons@ub.edu). Doctor en CC Económicas y Empresariales y Profesor Titular de Economía Aplicada en la Universidad de Barcelona. Miembro del Grupo de Innovación Docente de Econometría en la Práctica y del Grupo de Investigación en Análisis Cuantitativo Regional (AQR). Jefe de Estudios del Grado en Estadística y Coordinador del Máster en Estadística e Investigación Operativa. Buscar otros artículos de este autor en Google Académico / Find other articles by this author in Scholar Google

 


ARTICLE RECORD / FICHA DEL ARTÍCULO

Reference /

Referencia

  Berlanga, Vanesa; Figuera Pilar  & Pons-Fanals, Ernest (2013). Impact of the "salary scholarship": impact profile and student achievement.  RELIEVE, v. 19 (2), art. 2. DOI: 10.7203/relieve.19.2.3023

Title / Título

  Impact of the "salary scholarship" impact profile and student achievement. [Incidencia de la beca salario: impacto, perfil y rendimiento de los estudiantes].

Authors / Autores

 Berlanga, Vanesa; Figuera Pilar  & Pons-Fanals, Ernest 

Review / Revista

  RELIEVE  (Revista ELectrónica de Investigación y EValuación Educativa), v. 19, n. 2

ISSN

1134-4032

Publication date /

Fecha de publicación

 2013 (Reception Date: 2013 January 12 ; Approval Date: 2013 July 17. Publication Date: 2013 July 18)

Abstract / Resumen

    In Spain, within the framework of the Strategy 2015, the implementation of scholarships, grants and wages especially adapted to the new situation of the European Higher Education, intended to ensure access to university education to those most disadvantaged social groups economically. This research makes an ex post facto, descriptive-comparative aimed at assessing the impact of the grant salary, as an economic factor, on equity, access and academic performance in the first year of college. The study was conducted with a total of 10,394 new students in the 2010-11 cohort at the University of Barcelona, from the database from the institution itself. A total of 642 students agreed to grant salary, with differences depending on the branch of knowledge, gender, and the path to college. In relation to their peers, scholarship students come from families with occupations and / or study less, so scholarships model contributes to equity in access. In relation to performance analysis, scholarship students enrolled and present, on average, a larger number of subjects in order to meet the academic requirements for scholarship renewal, but the results are final academic in several branches knowledge, influenced negatively. One possible explanation is the largest academic pressure of this group in a phase usually complicated: the transition to college.

     En España, dentro del marco de la Estrategia 2015, la implantación de las becas de estudio, y especialmente las becas salario adaptadas a la nueva situación del Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior, pretenden garantizar el acceso a los estudios universitarios a aquellos grupos sociales más desfavorecidos económicamente. La presente investigación realiza un estudio ex post facto, de carácter descriptivo-comparativo dirigido a valorar la incidencia de la beca salario, como factor económico, sobre la equidad, el acceso y sobre el rendimiento académico en el primer año de universidad. El estudio se ha realizado con un total de 10.394 estudiantes de nuevo acceso de la cohorte 2010-11 de la Universidad de Barcelona, a partir de la base de datos procedentes de la propia institución. Un total de 642 estudiantes accedieron con la beca salario, con diferencias en función de la rama de conocimiento, el sexo y la vía de acceso a la universidad. En relación a sus compañeros, los estudiantes con beca provienen de familias con niveles ocupaciones y/o de estudios inferiores, de manera que el modelo de becas contribuye a la equidad en el acceso. En relación al análisis del rendimiento, los estudiantes con beca se matriculan y se presentan, en promedio, a un mayor número de asignaturas con la finalidad de cubrir los requisitos académicos de renovación de becas, pero los resultados académicos finales se ven, en varias ramas de conocimiento, influidos negativamente. Una posible explicación es la mayor presión académica de este colectivo en una fase de por sí complicada: la transición a la universidad.    

Keywords / Descriptores

 Teaching practices; Teacher training; Developing countries; Frontal teaching; Whole class method; In-service learning; Discussion method.

  Prácticas docentes; Formación profesional; Países en vía de desarrollo; Instrucción frontal; Método clase global; Formación en servicio; Método activo.

Institution / Institución

 Universidad de Barcelona (Spain).

Publication site / Dirección

http://www.uv.es/RELIEVE 

Language / Idioma

Español & English version (Title, abstract and keywords in English & Spanish)

 

Volumen 19, n. 2

 

© Copyright, RELIEVE.  Reproduction and distribution of this article  is authorized if the content is no modified and its origin is indicated (RELIEVE Journal, volume, number and electronic address of the document).

© Copyright, RELIEVE.  Se autoriza la reproducción y distribución de este artículo siempre que no se modifique el contenido y se indique su origen (RELIEVE, volumen, número y dirección electrónica del documento).

[ ISSN: 1134-4032 ]

Revista ELectrónica de Investigación y EValuación Educativa

E-Journal  of  Educational  Research, Assessment  and  Evaluation

 

  http://www.uv.es/RELIEVE

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