An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities)


The forecasting process of the total number of students in Palestine contributes in studying the future educational needs by government and policy makers. The more accurate the forecasting, the more it contributes in saving time, effort, and money when providing educational services. It also contributes in providing other valuable information such as buildings, human and financial resources, and educational plans required. Since these services rely heavily on the accuracy of the forecasting, choosing an inappropriate method will result in unrealistic predictions that may lead to an increase or decrease in budgeted costs, and ultimately to a failed planning process. In this paper, six mathematical forecasting methods were discussed, then utilized to forecast the number of students for a specific number of years. In order to compare and evaluate the performance and accuracy of the methods, the Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD), Mean Absolute Percent Error (MAPE), and Root Mean Square Error (RSME) common measurements were used to find the most accurate and suitable method to the Palestinian reality.The study find that the exponential method is the most accurate and suitable to the Palestinian reality, and it recommends that not to use the same method to forecast the student numbers for periods longer than a decade.