Transportation networks and students travel patterns : the case of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
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An increase in students’ accessibility to tertiary education and the decline in higher education funding have resulted in a greater number of students that reside off-campus. This trend has also given rise to off-campus students spending a significant amount of time commuting to and from campuses at University of KwaZulu Natal. The research objectives for this study aim: firstly, to explore the transportation challenges and capacity constraints impeding the travel of off-campus students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; secondly, to establish the correlation between the constraints of public and private transportation scheduling systems on students’ academic activities; thirdly, to establish students travel patterns in an attempt to effectively balance the scheduled demand for and capacitated supply of transportation; and finally, to determine the extent to which the different geographical locations in which students reside correlate with their academic performance. The total population of students residing off-campus for selected campuses totals to 20764 while sample size decision constitutes 377 respondents. This study used questionnaires to collect data from the off-campus students. Quantitative data analysis is used to respond to research questions through univariate and bivariate methods. The findings of this study reveal that most students travel five days a week to campus. The location of the campuses seems to have an influence on the mode of transportation used to that particular campus. The managerial implications on this study indicates that all the stakeholders should negotiate with each other as well as with the students when planning and putting forward proposals that involve student transportation.