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“That other student population group”: an investigation of academic, social, and psychological support services offered to students on augmented curriculum programmes: a case of UKZN BSS4 students’ (mis)perceptions and persistence”.

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The main aim of this exploratory and descriptive qualitative study was to obtain an in-depth understanding of the university’s academic support services offered to students on the Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP). Therefore, the study interrogated how university academic support strategies, initiatives, mechanisms, and services assisted ECP students in attaining their academic goals. In this regard, three objectives of the study were developed, namely, (a) To explore (mis) perceptions and persistence of students towards UKZN BSS4’s academic, social, and psychological support services; (b) To determine the scope of academic, social, and psychological challenges faced by students within the UKZN BSS4 Extended Curriculum Programme in realizing their academic goals; and (c) To explore the role of Extended Curriculum Programme in facilitating academic equity. Using qualitative methods of data collection, the study found that misperceptions about the BSS4 emanated from the lack of proper academic guidance and misinformation; challenges faced by ECP students are multifaceted, intricately intertwined, and commonly shared, and responsive measures are reasonably efficient but there is still a need to improve and maintain their quality to more appreciated standards. This is fundamental because the failure of student support services to address the implicit existence of stereotypes, academic, and socio-psychological challenges has the potential of diminishing the sense of belonging, motivation, persistency, and self-efficacy with adverse academic consequences.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.