Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Second International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Student support to enhance student living and learning at a South African University
Isabella Coetzee

Last modified: 06-06-2016

Abstract


Quantitative measures show that the higher education system in South Africa remains inefficient and this reality poses significant challenges to all universities. The Faculty of Humanities at the Tshwane University of Technology has added a Student Support Programme to the existing institutional student support structures. In this article, the author reflects on the experiences of student supporters who were appointe in 2014 and 2015 for the enhancement of students' living and learnining to improve success in the Faculty of Huanities. The findings indicated that this programme has indeed improved the academic performance and personal circumstances of hundreds of students. The under-preparedness of students entering South African higher education institutions was highlighted as a major obstacle in academic performances. The majority of students who are supported by this programme experience intense personal and social challenges that are by and large brought about by and as the result of severe financial needs. The student supprters were adamant in their departing statement that much more had to be done over and beyond the general and existing approach and support structures at the Tshwane University of Technology to support these students.

Keywords: Student support; Student living; Student learning; Social challenges


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