Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1960

Full Length Research Paper

University students’ perception of lecturer-student relationships: a comparative study of Public and Private Universities in Kenya

Micah C. Chepchieng*, Stephen N. Mbugua and Mary W. Kariuki
Department of Psychology, Counselling and Educational Foundations, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 June 2006
  •  Published: 30 June 2006



In a university setting, there is a great diversity in terms of socio-cultural, political, religious and racial backgrounds among students and lecturers. This diversity, with the presence of an appropriate lecturer-student relationship creates a campus environment that prepares students and lecturers to live and work amicably in a socio-culturally diverse society. It also equips them to respond to an increasing complex global environment. Besides, interpersonal relations in diversity make it possible for the generation, advancement and dissemination of knowledge, which is one of the key mission characteristics of university education in Kenya and elsewhere. Usually, a healthy relationship between the lecturers and students does influence students’ academic, personal and social integration into higher education. This could be attributed to the fact that lecturers contact with students in and out of the classroom is very important in student motivation and involvement in all facets of life. Considering the significance bestowed upon lecture-student relationship, a study was done that involved 30 student leaders from both public and private universities in Kenya. Data was collected through University Student Leaders Interview Schedule (USLIS). The data was analysed to help unravel students’ perception of interpersonal relations with their lecturers. Results revealed that, students in private universities seem to positively perceive lecturer- student’ relationship more than those in public universities. It also came out clearly that the large classes experienced in public universities had down side effect on the student-lecturer relationship. Thus enrollment in universities should be checked so that there is a low lecturer-student ratio.


Key words: Influence, perceptions, attitude, campus environment, lecturer-student relationships, public university and private university