Students’ Responsibility for Success at University


Learning is a process, and its success revolves around the effort a student puts into academics. Generally, those who are achievers in terms of university courses have outstanding characteristics. For instance, they are not only active in classwork but also responsible. The issue, therefore, is, that students who are successful in academics are engaging in classroom work and accept responsibility instead of relying on teachers.

The ideology of accountability is the aspect of having control over what is being done in the classroom (Simpson, 2016). Issues such as self-management, academic integrity, and the need to remain motivated are some of the aspects which determine the success of learners. The ultimate responsibility of teachers is to offer direction, but students are supposed to put in a high level of an exerted effort on the part of learners is necessary if they should achieve excellence in studies (Cavanagh, 2011). This essay will argue that as much as teachers have an unswerving contribution toward the success of the learners, the path to academic achievement solemnly lies with the receivers of education.

Main body

Students possess the ability to make progress in their studies to the point of being successful in the university. The theory of structure and agency maintains that success is dependent on students’ abilities and not teachers’ efforts (Pleasants, 2018). This concept explains the aspects of the social life of an individual as it connects to social structures (Pleasants, 2018). Agency refers to the students’ ability to make and act independently. If they use the agency as a principle, university students can independently choose what is right for them in their studies. The theory as well reveals that through a structure, which in this case is a social landscape of individuals, learners are influenced to correctly limit their study choices.

The agency-structure debate, therefore, establishes learners’ need to identify with their societies or the outcome of the structural forces. It means students have a responsibility of making critical choices in school, which support them act in a certain way for their success. It is their responsibility to emulate these behaviors to pass and not depend on teachers.

Personal circumstances such as pre-college factors, relationships with peers, and active engagement are the primary determinant of how students perform. Stelnicki et al. (2015) say SAT scores and high school averages persist to university or college. This means academic behaviors of students, such as the development of effective skills in studying and attending classes, are some of the strong predictors of achievement.

Therefore, those students who can attempt a full course load, are academically hopeful and disciplined, can have higher grades, and are likely to complete their courses (Cavanagh, 2011). At times, it is counterproductive for teachers to compel learners to be disciplined intellectually daily if they need to be active. According to a study done in a Midwestern public university, students’ active engagement in learning influences their achievement academically (Ullah and Wilson, 2007).

Male students, who would engage with their peers more than the way they do in classwork, their learning was affected negatively (Ullah and Wilson, 2007). Being active means participating in coursework more for males than the way they relate with their colleagues. For females, their relationship with peers enhances their positive learning mechanisms, which sustain their class involvement making them interactive (Ullah and Wilson, 2007). Therefore, students’ connection whether with fellow students or teachers is an essential act that determines their class participation. Consequently, it is the learners’ responsibility to ensure the establishment of the school environment to become successful.

Students’ persistence is key for them to score good grades. For instance, those students who fail to be persistent in transitioning to their second year are always less successful (Stelnicki et al., 2015). Another way around, those who have poor time management skills tend to procrastinate and fall behind. Such students are usually more distracted in their classroom, a fact which makes their comprehension power low, resulting in low grades (Stelnicki et al., 2015).

Undoubtedly, students need to embrace the mechanism of setting personal goals academically, as this is the correct way to succeed. This is an insinuation that teachers do not hold the sole mandate of making students successful in terms of education, but students’ efforts (Moore et al., 2018). Nothing comes easily, and that is why students need to avoid relying on teachers. Moreover, learners will always need to establish which works best for them to succeed (Moore et al., 2018).

That explains the idea that success is permanently predestined by the effort students put in for their work. This elucidates why, in every school, there will be achievers and non-achievers, a difference which occurs due to the determination each student puts in their work to succeed. Success, therefore, corresponds to the amount of efforts students invest into classroom work

Goal setting is another key action that makes university students succeed. At some point, teachers help students set goals, but if not accepted by students themselves, this action can be worthless. The study by Simpson (2016) explores the mechanisms which students utilize to get the opportunity of being achievers, arguing that through focus they easily achieve. There are various personal resources that those who pass use to meet their goals (Cavanagh, 2011). Keeping and being time conscious in whatever work aligns one to be responsible, and thus, it is an incentive to score high in school (Moore et al., 2018). On the contrary, issues such as inadequate academic skills, stress, and distraction detriment to the success of the learners. It means, therefore, that the internal and external environment, which students make for themselves through targets, is essential in supporting them in academics.

It is significant to mention that for one to enjoy the privileges of education, goals are a requirement (Moore et al., 2018). Achievement, however, does not come easily as it demands cooperation from the students (Moore et al., 2018). In other words, scholars are the primary entity that determines success when it comes to learning. As much as teachers have a responsibility to play, their percentage to this in terms of supporting students’ success is minimal (Stelnicki et al., 2015). Regardless of the teaching experience of the teachers, pupils are still required to put in the effort if they want to be achievers.


In conclusion, this essay has argued that the success of a student in the university revolves around the efforts a student puts into studies and not primarily on the teachers. Teachers give in their efforts to ensure students can perform. In this regard, there is evidence of determining factors to student success. As explained, issues such as the environment of the student and their effect on that environment, as explained by agency and structure theory, is important for the success of the student.

Other issues such as personal circumstances such as pre-college scores, relationships with other students and goal setting, being persistent, and being active are essential determinants of students’ success. The achievement of university-level learners is not solemnly determined by the teachers but by the students themselves. It is the choice they make while entering or in school, which helps them pass or be failures.


Cavanagh, M. (2011). Students’ experiences of active engagement through cooperative learning activities in lectures. Active learning in higher education, 12(1), 23-33. Web.

Pleasants, N. (2018). Free Will, determinism and the “problem” of structure and agency in the Social Sciences. Sage Journals, 49(1). 3-30. Web.

Moore, T. C., Alpers, A. J. & Rhyne, R. (2018). Brief prompting to improve classroom behavior: a first-pass intervention option. Journal of positive Behavior Interventions, 21(1). 30-41.

Ullah, H., & Wilson, A.M. (2007). Students’ academic success and its association to student involvement with learning and relationships with faculty and peers. College Student Journal, 41(4),1192-1203.

Simpson, J (2016). Authentic Learning Does It Improve Pass Rates and Student Satisfaction?. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 4(2). 62-70.

Stelnicki, A. M., Nordstokke, D. W., & Saklofske, D. H. (2015). Who is the successful university student? An analysis of personal resources. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 45(2), 214-228.

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