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University students’ lived experiences of parenting while studying at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Education is believed to provide knowledge and skills that hold the potential for economic empowerment, better livelihood, and social development. However, in traditional society, a man is perceived as the head of the family and a provider, while a woman is perceived as a home keeper and must be trained to provide care. This role is difficult, and more so when one is a student. This study aimed to explore lived experiences of university students who are parenting while studying. This qualitative study included fifteen students who were purposively sampled and interviewed individually using a semi-structured interview schedule. The key findings indicated that young parents are struggling to balance their dual roles of full-time university students and parents, distance from their children was a significant issue, and many had financial challenges. For the male participants, the payment of damages was a major issue, while rejection by fathers of their children was significant for the female participants.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.