You cannot talk about us without us : a voice from student dropout
Mzindle, Duduzile Njozela
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Student dropout from higher education continues to bedevil the success of the South African higher education system despite its gains made in transforming this important sector from the ills of apartheid. The common discourses on student dropout in South Africa relates to the socio-economic and the academic under-preparedness of students accessing higher education. A continued focus on these dominant discourses may lead to a state of stagnation as have been seen in the decade long tracking of the efficiency of the higher education system in terms of student throughput. Hence a deeper understanding of the issues is needed. In this paper I argue that there are confounding factors and breaking point factors associated with student dropout, and that we need to pay more attention to the confounding factors to understand their implications for students and institutions. Through a tracer study of students who dropped out, I present students’ account of their reasons for their drop out of university with a view to showing how these factors could be substantial factors beyond the finance and academic performance factors that are commonly shown to affect student throughput.
Mzindle, D. 2015. You cannot talk about us without us : a voice from student dropout. Alternation. Special Ed. (1): 77-90.