Impact of location and government funding on medical Students Perception of Learning Environment in Nigeria
The learning environment in medical colleges impacts on future physicians, hence it should be evaluated to identify and address factors that impede learning outcomes. The objective is to evaluate the impact of geographical location and level of government funding on the learning environment in medical colleges in Nigeria. The DREEM questionnaires were administered to 787 students from 3 northern universities 797 from 4 southern universities. Using SPSS version 20, mean global score (MGS) was determined, and domain scores were compared according to northern versus southern universities, state versus federal funded universities among other factors ANOVA, p ˂ 0.05. The male to female ratio for the 7 medical schools was 2:1. Similar ratio was noted for north (2.2:1) and south (1.9:1) population, but MGS and SPA were significantly higher in northern universities compared to the south (56.4 percent vs. 53.6 percent , p = ˂ 0.001; 25.3 (11.4) vs. 23.7 (9.0), p = 0.002), respectively. Conversely, mean SPL was significantly higher in the southern universities (31.2 (7.5) vs. 29.6 (11.1), p = 0.001). State funded universities had a higher MGS and SPA compared to the federals (56.5 percent vs. 54.5 percent ; p = 0.006, 25.7 ± 7.9 vs. 24.1 ± 10.9; p = 0.008). But federal universities had higher SPCO and SASP values compared to states funded (23.6 ± 5.5 vs. 22.7 ± 96.6; p = 0.008, 21.8 ± 4.9 vs. 20.5 ± 5.0; p = ˂ 0.001). Efforts to improve the learning environment in Nigerian medical colleges should be independent of geographical location and level of government funding of schools.