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

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The Unisa KZN Students’ Perspectives of Student Success
Nombulelo Molly Cynthia Phewa

Last modified: 29-05-2017


This paper aims to present what students refer to as ‘student success’ based on their own lived experiences and perceptions. It also aims at presenting a proposal towards developing an integrated model for learner support whose objective is to identify students' academic and career needs at the point of entry; refer them to appropriate learning and career development programmes; and thereafter enrol them in a job readiness training and placement programme (JRTP) in preparation for work-integrated learning (WIL) placements.


A mixed methods study was conducted, involving a diagnostic academic literacies assessment, student questionnaires as well as focus group discussions. Participants were the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)-based Unisa students who had been placed in WIL programmes with and/or without the career development and JRTP experience, and those that had been placed in other jobs not directly related to their qualifications and/or career needs through the JRTP programme.


It was found that most senior students view student success as obtaining a qualification, and being able to use such qualification in gainful employment, whereas junior students placed most emphasis on obtaining a qualification. It was also found that most of the JRTP students perceived the programme as having been helpful in them landing and retaining jobs.

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