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ERIC Number: EJ895741
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1306-3065
Who Is Joining Physics and Why? Factors Influencing the Choice of Physics among Ethiopian University Students
Semela, Tesfaye
International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, v5 n3 p319-340 Jul 2010
This paper investigates the enrolment trends and the critical factors that impinge on students' choice of physics as major field of study. The data were generated from primary and secondary sources. Primary data was acquired based on a semi-structured interview with 14 sophomore and 11 senior students and five instructors of the department of physics at Hawassa University, Ethiopia. In addition, data on allocation of students to various major fields as well as quantitative data on academic achievement were obtained from the university's registrar office. The results indicate that the rate of enrolment in physics is the lowest and applicants who were assigned to the physics undergraduate programs were those whose mean score in Ethiopian National Higher Education Entrance Examination was the lowest compared to any other group. Further, the findings show unprecedented gender gap in enrollment and graduation rates. The explanations given for the low enrollment rate were inadequate pre-university preparation, weak mathematics background, lack of job opportunity outside the teaching profession, and poor teacher qualification and pedagogical content knowledge. Finally, this article forwards policy recommendations to bolster the alarmingly declining state of physics education in Ethiopia. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)
International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication. Abant Izzet Baysal University, Faculty of Education, 14280 Golkoy-Bolu, Turkey. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ethiopia