Students attrition in TVET colleges : a case study of Elangeni TVET College in South Africa.
Zulu, Wiseman Vuyani.
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The TVET colleges are the cornerstone in addressing unemployment, poverty and building the economy of the Republic of South Africa by producing well equipped artisans. TVET colleges are expected to enrol 2.5 million students by 2030. TVET colleges are responsible for the sound throughput at the end of each academic calendar/ cycle. In the past, technical colleges/ or Further Education and Training Colleges which are now known as TVET Colleges were perceived as the institutions in which to dump slow learners who could not make it in main stream schools. Today TVET Colleges are expected to be the institutions of choice as is the case in the global community. The main challenge faced by the TVET Colleges and the Department of Higher Education and Training at large is that a number of students who enrol at the beginning of the cycle drop out during the year, and as a result, the mandate of the TVET Colleges cannot be achieved. Therefore, the objective of this study is to ascertain the reasons behind this high attrition rate, and to endeavour to identify solutions to curb this attrition and maintain retention. The results of this study reflect that there are a number of factors behind the high attrition rate in the institutions of higher learning, the TVET Colleges in particular. This study concludes that all stakeholders have a huge role to play in order to reduce the high attrition rate in TVET Colleges. This study finally recommends a number of retention strategies and last but not least that the TVET Colleges need to focus more on the retention rather than enrolment. Key words: TVET Colleges, attrition, retention.