Addressing student dropout rates at South African universities
Singh, Rachael Jesika
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The excitement of a South African University acceptance is shortlived, for many students, as the challenges faced is often overwhelming, resulting in many dropping out in their first year of study. This has negatively impacted on the desired national norm of an 80% success rate targeted by the Department of Higher Education and Training. This study aims to explore ways in which the dropout rates can be reduced thereby increasing the throughput levels of universities in South Africa. A qualitative study was conducted to identify the challenges students encounter that lead to the high dropout rates. Students who had previously dropped out from universities in South Africa were interviewed in order to examine their perceptions of how dropping out of university could have been avoided. Snowball sampling, a type of purposive sampling was used in this study. The findings indicate incorrect career choice, inadequate academic support and insufficient funding as being primary factors that led to the drop out of students. One of the recommendations this study makes is that university departments must align their support programmes with modules that have a high failure rate to help students cope.
Moodley, P. and Singh, R. J. 2015. Addressing student dropout rates at South African universities. Alternation. Special Edition No 17 : 91–115