Factors that influence university student throughput and dropout : an analysis of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, College of Humanities.
Nkontwana, Siyabonga Salatien.
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This study was an investigation into the Factors that Influence University Student Throughput and Dropout focusing on the University of KwaZulu-Natal, College of Humanities. The study focused on students who dropped out even though they did not owe the university and were also in good standing academically. It must be noted though that the literature of this study did not reveal much about the students in good academic and financial standing as the university data revealed that all types of students (those performing poorly and owe the university and those in good academic and financial standing) do drop-out for different reasons. There were two theoretical frameworks guiding this study, namely: the Theory of students Integration by Tinto (1975) and the Pathway Study by Letseka (2009). These two theories advocate for good integration of students in both the institutional and social culture of the university. The Integration theory broadly articulates this view in a global perspective whilst the Pathway Study articulates this view from a South African perspective. This study utilized both the Qualitative and the Quantitative methodologies. This was done through the snowball sampling and the document analysis methods respectively. The study population was the students who dropped-out, the UKZN management, the SRC and the Counselling Department. These participants provided informative and interesting insights on the issue at hand. This study identified numerous factors that influence students to drop-out and these factors are similar to those that obtain in the literature of this study. Notably, there were also new factors that influence students to drop-out which were established by this study. One such factor is the issue of sicknesses requiring serious traditional intervention. Lastly, the study concluded by recommending that the institutional support mechanism at UKZN be reviewed towards the development of specific policies that can address the issue of drop-outs.