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Socioeconomic Factors and Outcomes in Higher Education

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Carlos Felipe Rodríguez Hernández

3. Data

Texte intégral

3.1. Participants

1The total sample included 22202 students of both genders (male 39.4%; female 60.6%) from 29 universities (85% private, 15% public) in Bogotá. The students in the sample had graduated from several different disciplines: Administration, Architecture and Urban Studies, Fine arts-design, Agricultural/farm sciences, Economic sciences, Social sciences, Communication-journalism-advertising, Law, Education, Humanities, Engineering, Medicine and Psychology. The selected students took the saber pro test during the 2011-12 (second semester) application and 2012 (first and second semester) application. Particularly, 76.5% of the students came from academic secondary schools, 13% from both academic and technical secondary schools and 10.5% from technical secondary schools. Finally, the selected students took the saber 11 test during the 2006, 2007 and 2008.

3.2. Data collection

2The icfes (Colombian Institute for the Assessment of Education) provided the data used in this study. At the moment of saber 11 application, students were asked about their school, family and socioeconomic conditions. They completed this information during the enrolment process for the test. Each student’s saber pro outcomes were linked to previous saber 11 scores and his or her socioeconomic information.

3.3. Description of the database

3The database used in this study included information of the results in the saber 11, saber pro and information related with the socioeconomic status of the students. Seven variables were chosen for this study and section 3.4 presents a description of them. To ensure proper handling of the information, a confidentiality agreement was signed. The data were analyzed using spss 21, SAS and MLWin 2.9.

3.4 Variables

3.4.1 Father/Mother Educational level

4These are ordinal variables for measuring the educational level of the parents. In this study, several categories were considered going from no level of education through graduate level (Specialization, Master or Ph. D).

3.4.2. Father/Mother Occupation

5These are nominal variables for measuring the occupation of the parents without a particular order among the categories. The same names were used during this research to measure the father’s occupation and the mother’s occupation.

3.4.3 Student strata

6The socio-economic stratification system (named estrato in Colombia) was designed to distinguish who should get access to subsidized public services (utilities, water, among others). The system classification is based on physical geographic characteristics and surroundings (e.g. road conditions, the presence of pavement and street lighting). There are six estratos; households in estratos 1-3 receive subsidies for their utility bills, those in estrato 4 pay the going rate, and those in estratos 5 and 6 pay a premium. Most Colombians are well aware of their estrato, making this information easy to collect (The World Bank, 2012). The students’strata was measured as an ordinal variable in this study.

3.4.4 sisben

7 sisben (Selection System of Beneficiaries of Social Programs) is a proxy which is based on the assessment of a family’s living conditions. Moreover, it has been used to assign subsidies for health insurance, education, and loans by national and local governments since 1994 (Castañeda, 2005). Students from families with sisben 1 or 2 are considered the least advantaged while, in some cases, level 3 students are also eligible for social programs (The World Bank, 2012). The sisben level was considered as an ordinal variable in the analyses carried out in this study.

3.4.5 Monthly Family Income

8The family income is measured as multiple of the minimum wage and can be useful to understand how much income is available in order to access utilities. In this study, this variable was measured as an ordinal variable.

3.4.6 saber pro Outcomes

9 saber pro evaluates students in generic competences: Critical Reading, Quantitative Reasoning, Written Communication, Civic Competences and English. For this study, only the first two competences were selected and these results were measured in a ratio scale with a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of 1.

3.4.7 saber 11 Outcomes

10 saber 11 evaluates students in eight subject areas: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Spanish, English, Social Sciences and Philosophy. These results were measured in a ratio scale but then transformed to “z” scores, considering that different applications of the test were analyzed in this study.

3.5 Descriptive Statistics

11The descriptive statistics of the variables considered in this study are presented in Appendix 1.

© Universidad externado de Colombia, 2016

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