Characteristics and experiences of Durban University of Technology adult part-time B.Tech somatology learners.
The study focused on adult learners in the Bachelor of Technology: Somatology degree (B. Tech) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). It served to establish the characteristics and experiences of part-time, predominantly adult women learners in order to facilitate their and future generations of formal higher education life-long learners retention , throughput and success rates at DUT. This is in response to national policy directives from the Department of Education and communiques from various non-profit organisations (NPO's) and political groups . The aim of the study was to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that motivate, facilitate and detract from part-time learner's formal learning experience in order for the Department of Somatology at DUT to consider ways to address these needs. A questionnaire and focus group discussion were used to acquire data from the current cohort of B. Tech. Somatology learners. The taped discussion was subsequently transcribed and the data obtained was analysed and interpreted by means of thematic analysis. Three major themes that related to the literature, the conceptual framework and the title of the study emerged as descriptions of the adult women learners' characteristics and experiences within their communities, their work and DUT. The dissertation concluded with a summary of the findings which directly related to the testimony of the adult learners' experiences as continuing formal higher education part-time learners. Recommendations which were recognised as facilitating successful lifelong learning in institutions of higher learning and which could be adopted by DUT's academic and administrative sectors were suggested .