Lecturers' and students' perceptions of contributory factors towards the high failure rate in an information administration course at a merged University of Technology.
Since Colonial times Education in South Africa was segregated leaving African educational systems disadvantaged with inferior services. The segregation became official when apartheid became an official policy following the general election of 1948 which resulted in the National Government taking over. This report, in particular, is a study at one of the 22 merged Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) that was comprised of previously advantaged and disadvantaged tertiary institutions. The University of Technologies (UoTs) have a history of such segregated education dating back to its origins in 1882, when Technical Colleges were established. While the development of the early technical colleges continued to change its focus and status, inferior services continued until very recently in 2002 when mergers of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) occurred. The democratic government of 1994 developed to many policies in an attempt to repair the damages emanating from the apartheid system. Of the many policies, one was the redressing of educational inequalities that were created by the apartheid system. During the early 1990s and to date there has been poor Higher Education (HE) performance. One of the goals of the 1997 White paper was to improve the throughput rates at HE in terms of pass rates and thus throughput rates. The study focuses on the high failure rate in the Information Administration (IA) course at one of the merged HEIs called Southern University of Technology1 (SUT). What has been conducted is an investigation of perceptions of contributory factors towards the high failure rate in the Information Administration course at SUT. The mentioned UoT has also implemented transformational policies as required by the Department of Education (DoE) but the desires of the Education White paper 3 of 1997 regarding the improvement of throughput rates has not changed. The main findings of the research present the following; lack of preparedness of enrolled students and lecturers in the IA subject , the non-compliance to the institutions assessment policy and procedures, lack of quality assurance and management measures and insufficient accessibility and utilisation of the resources.