Assessing the impact of Class Sizes on the Educational Performance by Business, Management and Commerce students: A Vocational Education and Training Case Study

Authors: Ayrton Zarb

Corresponding: Ayrton Zarb (

Keywords: Class sizes, Regression, Wellbeing

Doi: 10.7423/XJENZA.2021.2.02

This empirical paper follows the ongoing economic literature investigating the impact of larger class sizes on the academic performance by students. This study uses secondary data involving 874 business, management, and commerce students who followed an educational course between 2018/2019 and/or 2019/2020 at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST). Several variations of the proposed Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model have been tested to produce the best possible model intended to test for a scientific relationship between the two variables, whilst controlling for a set of academic and socio-economic characteristics affecting students’ academic performance. Results suggest that larger class sizes lead to lower end-of-course scores obtained by students. Furthermore, a statistically significant positive relationship is also evident between the end-of-course score and the students’ age, level of studies, and attendance rate. Also, students’ family background and the distance from college are proved to be significant indicators to explain changes in the dependent variable. Such findings encourage management teams in schools to design smaller classes to enhance students’ academic wellbeing and advance the economic and social development of society.

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