Title: MAKING SENSE OF THE HIGH FAILURE AND DROPOUT RATES AT SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
1 MAKING SENSE OF THE HIGH FAILURE AND DROPOUT RATES AT SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
P.A.Padmanabhan Nair Leelakrishna Reddy Sam Ramaila
University of Johannesburg (Doornfontein Campus)
1. Situation Analysis
Campus 1 DFC
Campus 2 APK
Campus 3 SWC
2. Needs Analysis
3. Resource Analysis
4. Pilot Model
5. Further Research and Revision of Model (if necessary)
6. Revised Model
3 SITUATION ANALYSIS
High failure rates among first year learners in higher education institutions due to under-prepared learners entering the system.
Educational wastage due to certain dysfunctional schools.
Unacceptably large numbers and proportion of learners drop out of the system each year.
Higher Education Institutions suffer heavy losses with respect to subsidy income which is dependent on throughput rates.
Cost from government per enrolled learner who fails runs into millions of Rands.
Many of those who failed were using bursaries for their studies.
4 The Facts National
The unnecessary number of years used by many students to complete a degree or diploma.
This is evident from the national average of the throughput rate in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
According to the Department of Education out of 600 000 in HEIs 100 000 drop out annually.
The Council for Higher Education (CHE) acknowledges that only 75 000 out of 600 000 graduated in 1998.
5 Throughput Rate at HEIs nationwide Source Frank Meintjies Deloitte Consulting 6 IN-HOUSE AUDIT
Study Commissioned by Dean Faculty of Engineering
Study done by P.A.P Nair at ex-TWR February 2004
Comparison of the Profile of Learners for the 2003 and 2004 intakes
To establish whether the quality of learners in the first-time entry category has shown a positive shift from the 2003 intake to the 2004 intake (First Phase of the Study)
Identification of any co-relation that might exist between the entry profile of learners and their performance in First Year courses at ex-TWR (Second Phase of the Study)
Any co-relation that exists will inform the ex-TWR about the need to upscale its entry requirements
Carry out both macroscopic and microscopic level analysis of the characteristics of first-time entry learners for the 2003 and 2004 intake.
Generate (both statistical and graphical) comparison indices.
8 Sample Used 9
First-time entry learners in 2004 have better SG symbols in Mathematics and Physical Science than in 2003 but not the case with HG symbols.
English Second Language and First Language have slightly better HG symbols in 2004 than in 2003.
This is clearly an attempt on the part of the Department of Education (DoE) to make the matric results look good.
10 IN-HOUSE AUDIT At ex-RAU 2000 2001
The efficiency of South African Universities A study based on the analytical review technique
B Taylor G Harris University of Natal
Based on South African Post-Secondary Education (SPACE) database of 10 prominent universities during the periods 1994 to 1997. The other universities did not have their data available at the time.
11 Efficiency Measures 1997 Findings Ex-RAU secured First or Second Rank in all measured areas except for Graduation Rate (total graduates) per 1000 registered students. This means the throughput rate is a concern which necessitates innovative remedial model to address this deficiency. A need for extended degree/diploma programmes 12 Needs Analysis at DFC June 2005
A heterogeneous group of First Year learners at the DFC was used for the investigation.
The sample was derived from learners belonging to the Faculties of Science Engineering Health and Art Architecture
Group consisted of learners from
Analytical Chemistry Chemical Engineering Engineering Metallurgy Extraction Metallurgy Building Science Architectural Technology Biomedical Technology Food Technology and Environmental Health.
Learners who were identified through their performance level thus far were having a tendency towards failure or dropout
The group formed a high risk group ideal for investigation.
13 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
An extensive questionnaire covering aspects such as
Academic Personal and Social constraints which affect learner performance was surveyed among the above group of learners
82 had Grade 12 national exam
4 had IEB
8 had other types of exams
Majority of learners did Maths and Physical Science on Standard Grade with symbols ranging from B to G.
Most of the learners had Biology and English on Higher Grade with symbols ranging from B to G.
15 (No Transcript) 16 Performance thus far in First Year Course
The semester mark comprising of all test marks is a good indicator of the performance level of the learners.
Only 32 had their semester marks in the highest range of (41-49).
Therefore the majority of these lower achievers are exhibiting a tendency to fail or drop out.
It thus necessitates an investigation of the factors which contribute to such a disaster.
For this reason the learners were asked to list the possible reasons for their poor performance.
14 disclosed that they have been suffering from constant illness
8 suffered due to lack of career guidance at school and ended up making the wrong career choice
8 failed to understand the subject matter due to their weakness in language
What should the University be doing in order to help the students to be successful in their studies and avoid failure and dropout
Classes should end early so that learners would get time to study before going home.
Provide extra classes.
Provide counselling for students who have problems from home.
There should be Physics for learners who did not do Physics at high school which must be easier than the Physics offered for learners who did the subject.
The university must consult those students who are weak and give motivation so that they can start believing in themselves and know that they can make it.
Give strict requirements for admission to a course.
Mark attendance register and encourage students not to miss lectures.
Try to make TV programmes like the learning channel.
19 Options/Plans for the Future if Fail or Dropout
Some learners would like to get loans to start own business
There were others who confessed that they would like to join a course which they love doing
Root causes for student failure and dropout are multi-fold such as
- Inadequately equipped school system
Results from this investigation could assist in preparing concrete proposals to develop sound academic models for reducing failure and dropout rates in our HEIs
All our campuses have resources to implement suitable models relevant to specific needs of various campuses. Needs vary from campus to campus.
Eg. Diploma programmes are traditionally getting academically weaker students than degree programmes
Even with all the initiatives and support mechanisms there could be learners who are not yet ready to continue their higher education
Alternate routes such as skills training entrepreneurship etc for such group.
21 Proposed Models based on two Fundamental Principles
Subsidy for the Institution
Credit for the Learner
Direct Route Re-Route(Subsidy Credit) (Subsidy Credit) 22 Triangular Model (Pythagoras Model) in line with OBE 23 Dysfunctional Schools Approach (Reversal of Triangular Model) Circular Model(Radii Model) 24 Options if Fail or Dropout
Skills Training for those who are not ready (due to failure or dropout) for higher education
This group can enter into higher education later through the mode life-long learning
25 Development and Implementation of an Academic Model
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