Leadership development : is this skill important for students at UKZN?
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There are essential skills that contribute to the growth and development of individuals, and a large number of individual and collective bodies consider one of these skills to be that of leadership development. At tertiary level, the development of both students and their skills are considered critical, as tertiary institutions play a role in developing young individuals to become future leaders. Much benefit can be achieved from having students vested with leadership abilities, which would directly contribute, to the success of societies. However, minimal research has been done on this subject at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This directed the research questions and the main objective of the study to the investigation of the importance of leadership development for students. Literature has pointed out that there has been a shift in developing countries with the expansion and improvements of its higher education, with this addressing student services that create for empowerment, growth, and emotional development. Research has shown that leadership is one activity that can influence, develop and groom individuals that employers’ seek and which societies desire. The research topic allowed for both an exploratory and descriptive investigation. The research questions were rooted from the qualitative design of the study and further directed the sample design that was used for this investigation. The sample design had taken on a non-probability technique and respondents were selected purposively. This investigation made use of a questionnaire as its primary data collection instrument. Using a cross-sectional approach, the questionnaire was administrated to 45 respondents. Data was analysed in two parts, firstly the demographics of the respondents and thereafter closed-ended questions and open-ended questions were analysed with reference to the research aims of the study. Statistical software and content analysis was used to analyse the data. Significant findings pointed to students being aware of the importance of student leadership, and their perceptions reflected the need for student leadership development at the university. Findings showed that the university does cater for leadership development however; the respondents revealed that more should be done for this skill development.