Student’s perceptions regarding the extent to which schooling has prepared them for university education in the case of University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Zungu, Cebisile Doreen.
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This study investigated student’s perceptions regarding the extent to which schooling prepared them for university education in the case of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Preparing learners or pupils to become university students is a process that involves a lot of obstacles. There are differences between public and private schools in terms of preparing learners for university education due to resource accessibility. Twenty first-year students were recruited to be participants of the study, ten from private and ten from public schools. The study further sought to investigate the gap between the two categories of high schools which contribute to the preparedness of students for university education. The literature illustrates that transition from high school to university comprise of many challenges, the background of students has an effect on their adaptation either they are prepared or not for the new environment. The objectives of the study were to determine what first-year student’s perception with regards to factors that contributed to and hinder their preparation for university education. This study employed a qualitative approach. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants of the study. Data was collected through face-to-face interviews. The findings showed that every student has their own perception about the university culture regardless of the school they went to. Many of the participants said they feel that they were ready for university, but not prepared for it. A few felt that they were prepared besides the challenges of adjusting to the new culture of teaching and learning. The main conclusion of the study is that strong collaborations between high schools and universities are needed irrespective of the location of the school. This is because the majority of the schools from rural areas are not always accommodated or included in programs such as career guidance which is intended to help learners with course selection. Rural schools lack resources which makes it difficult for teachers to prepared learners for university education. The first step to make sure that students are prepared for university education is that, long-term programs should be implemented to prepare students for university education while they are in high school. It is important that such programs are inclusive, and that all South Africa high schools are included either private or public. South African government working together with the citizens should formulate strategies that help disadvantaged schools to make it easier for learners to adapt to university education.