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A Critical Analysis of the role of Student Retention in Accelerating Women’s Progressive Education in Kenya. A Case Study of Kiriri Women’s University of Science and Technology (Published)

As the world faces multiple crisis and challenges, Universities plays a key role towards establishing a healthier, greener, fairer, and more inclusive societies to provide progressive and quality education for all.  Accelerating an inclusive socio-economic recovery starts with education, skills, jobs and growth.  The study seeks to analyse the role of student retention in accelerating women’s progressive education in Kenya. The study adopted four relevant independent variables which includes: sustainable funding, mentorship, student related challenges, and institutional related challenges. The underpinning theories that support the study independent and dependent variables includes: the women’s empowerment framework which supports progressive education and the choice of the case study. John Dewey theory of learning supports progressive education while Tinto’s institutional departure model supports students’ retention, student related challenges and institutional related challenges. The study adopted mixed method research design and cross-sectional data. mixed research design is a holistic approach that involves discovery of issues through qualitative and quantitative data as well as observation. The study adopted a client-centered approach which focused on students (as the key units of observation) and lecturers. The study target population comprised 408 continuing degree students in their final year, during September – December (2021) semester. This produced a study sample size of 129 students. Students are the main unit of observation in this study. The study also targeted 60 lecturers who were teaching during the same period. This produced a study sample size of 24 lecturers. The study data analysis and interpretation has been done using STATA. The study results reveal that there is statistically significant relationship between the student retention and women’s progressive education at 1% level of significance, with a p-value of 0.0000. This is based on the overall results of the model:  which explains the goodness of fit with R-Squared = 90 per cent, the R-squared = 89 per cent, F-statistic = 160.69. and a p-value = 0.0000. This implies that the model explains 89% of changes in women’s progressive education. The study indicators: sustainable funding, mentorship, student related challenges and institutional related challenges explains 89 per cent change in women’s progressive education. The study recommended more focus student retention to enhance women’s progressive education and institutional sustainability. The study further recommends more focus on sustainable funding to enhance students’ retention and progression. There is need to implement mentorship programmes to enhance retention and employability. Institutional related challenges can be addressed through transformative, inclusive and thought leadership. In addition, there is need to address students related challenges through encouraging meaningful engagements through students’ affairs services, counselling and guidance.

Keywords: : Human Capital, mentorship, students’-retention, sustainable-funding, women’s-progressive education