The main purpose of this research was to investigate the factors that might affect the academic grade performance of certain minority groups of students in a university of science and technology, such as aboriginal students, overseas Chinese students, and international students. It is hoped that the results could provide a concrete reference for the university in making decisions on student recruitment, allocation of educational resources, and provision of academic guidance. To achieve this purpose, after a review of the relevant literature, a group of possibly influential factors was isolated to be used in the ensuing research, including gender, friends of the opposite sex, financial situation, birth order, number of children in the birth family, peer group grades, and dormitory accommodation. Next, the first stage of data gathering and analysis involved determining the grade averages for each group of students, as well as for any two groups or all three groups together. Following this, questionnaires were distributed to each group, with overseas Chinese students receiving 49 questionnaires, of which 42 valid were returned, for a response rate of 85.7%; aboriginal students receiving 122 questionnaires, of which 74 valid were returned, for a response rate of 60.6%; out of respect for the cultural differences of the international students, on the advice of the concerned administrative unit, they were not included the questionnaire survey.
The data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the determination of averages, one-factor analysis of variance, multiple regression analysis, and heteroskedasticity. The main discoveries of these analyses were as follows:
1.Comparing the academic achievement of the different minority student groups with that of their local classmates, the performance of the international students was clearly superior to that of the overseas Chinese students, while that of the aboriginal students lagged behind.
2.ANOVA analysis of the grade averages of the three groups did not produce results entirely the same as those indicated above.
3.Comparing the grade averages of any two of the three groups, with the level of significance at=0.05, all of the differences were significant.
4.Comparing the grade averages for male and female students within the three groups, with the level of significance at =0.05, there was no significant difference between the rade averages of the male and female students within each group.
5.Multiple regression analysis of the questionnaire results for the aboriginal students showed no significant relationships between the different variables and grade averages. Further analysis through White heteroskedasticity Consistent Covariance martrix estimator also revealed no significant relationships. This indicates that the structure of the model used for the research has considerable room for improvement.
Multiple regression analysis of the questionnaire results for the overseas Chinese students showed a significant result for the relationship between dormitory accommodation and grade averages, but not for any of the other variables. Further analysis through White heteroskedasticity Consistent Covariance martrix estimator showed an increased level of significance for the dormitory accommodation variable, but the influence of this variable was negative, indicating that living in a dormitory is not an advantage for overseas Chinese students. Perhaps those who live off-campus are living with relatives and receiving better care. However, this apparent disadvantage would indicate that the university should look into how to provide academic assistance for overseas Chinese students living in school dormitories.