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The lived experiences of mature aged undergraduate students in higher education: A case study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal - Edgewood Campus.

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Presentation on theme: "The lived experiences of mature aged undergraduate students in higher education: A case study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal - Edgewood Campus."— Presentation transcript:

1 The lived experiences of mature aged undergraduate students in higher education: A case study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal - Edgewood Campus By Lindi Ngubane University of KwaZuluNatal (Edgewood campus)

2 Introduction The case study is about the lived experiences of undergraduate mature aged students in higher education. The key focus was to highlight the learning needs and identify key factors affecting their progress in both academic and social spheres.

3 Problem Statement The adjustment or transition period, often involves an assessment of whether the reality of university matches with expectations. Central to the decision to embark on academic study are a student‘s internal expectations of ability to cope with academic challenges, to manage roles and responsibilities both at university and at home or work, together with expectations for career development and changes to identity (James 2001; Michie et al. 2001). Students have expectations of their ability to cope with the challenges of academic study which may or may not be realistic and this may affect their integration into university.

4 Aim and objectives of the study
AIM: To find out the lived experiences of mature aged undergraduate students in higher education Specific Objectives: To identify the gaps on the university’s needs provision for mature aged students. To review the institution’s support services. To enhance retention and throughput of mature aged students

5 Methodology This was a quantitative and qualitative study.
Questionnaires were administered, 65 students participated on this study. The research was placed within the interpretivist research paradigm.

6 Results The quantitative aspects has to do with the following items; 1= Male = Female

7 Results cont… 1= 20-30years; 2= years; 3= years; 4= +50 years

8 Results cont… 1= Single; = Married; = Divorced; = Widow/ed

9 Results cont… 1= 1-5 years; 2= 6-10 years; 3= years; 4= +16 years

10 Results cont… 1= incomplete high school; 2=standard 10; 3= college; 4= other

11 Results cont… 1= Bed; = Other

12 Results cont… 1 = Year 1; =yr 2; = yr 3; = yr 4; = +4yr

13 Results cont… 1= Yes; = No

14 Results cont… 1= Finances; 2= Moral support; 3= Accommodation; 4= Food; 5= other (specify); 6= Nothing

15 Results cont… 1= own home; 2= Campus res; 3= Private accommodation; 4= other (specify)

16 Analysis Reasons for studying Support
The university support: Academic and social life support Sources of support Advantages of being an adult learner Disadvantages of being an adult learner

17 Analysis (continue) Changes and adjustments made by adult learners
Effects of studying on family and friends Coping with studies Accommodation

18 Discussion Donald 1999 indicated that in 1990’s was characterised by enormous reforms in various aspects of South African policies. He mentioned that there was a need to re- organise education and institutions of higher learning to redress accessibility. University received requests for access programmes to study from adults who did not fulfil the formal requirements Xiaojing L, Magjuka & Seung hee 2007. Mercer &Saunders,2004 have explored the impact of returning to school on students lives, Andreou, stated that few studies have focussed on mature undergraduate student experiences in South African context.

19 Discussion cont… According to Africa report(2005) some causes of student failure include personal, financial, institutional, racial and academic factors. Soudien report 2009 mentioned there was a failure of higher education to examine the relationship of residence life to the education and that residence life should be a key issue in higher education. Andresen, Boud & Cohen 1996 identified family or home related issues as one of the challenges facing adult learner’s. Accepting to study meant a reduced number of friends and social activities for some students as they were now focussing on their studies (Wynne 2005) Hill (2001) that adults are motivated by internal rather than

20 Conclusion Most of the mature aged students had families outside KZN province, which posed a threat to their marriages and upbringing of their children. Uncertainties about their decision to study. Accommodation and financial constraints were listed as their basic challenges. More qualified and accommodative lectures.

21 Conclusion cont… Increase of support, they mentioned that there was one student counsellor who had to attend all students on campus. Dissatisfaction in residences, conditions, shortage of equipment, access to internet, noise and alcohol.

22 Recommendations The study has identified a number of lived experiences of the mature aged undergraduate at UKZN-Edgewood campus. Recommendations are drawn from data analysis of mature aged students and they are grouped into: Academic, Social and Welfare

23 Academic Quality of lecturers Distance learning
Scholarships which caters for adult learners Technological support /LAN assistants Internet and LAN’s in off campus residences

24 Social Mature aged students as part of Residence Assistants
Recreational facilities which accommodates mature age students Social gatherings for students who are above 35 years old.

25 welfare Adequate on campus accommodation for mature aged students
More student counsellors on campus More clinic staff members Motivational speakers

26 Acknowledgements Teaching and learning grant for funding the study
Dr Saloschini Pillay for supervising the study Dr Indera Baijnath and Mr.Fru Nkwenti for data collection Ms.Angeline Stephens –Line Manager

27 References Andresen, L., Boud, D. & Cohen, R. (1996). Experience-based learning. In G. Foley (Ed.). Understanding adult education and training. (2nd Ed). Sydney: Allen & Unwin, pp Blondy, L. (2007). Evaluation and application of andragogical assumptions to the adult Online learning environment, Journal of Interactive Online Learning. 6 (2), 116 – 130. Hill, L. H. (2001). The brain and consciousness: Sources for information for Understanding adult learning. In S.B. Merriam (Ed.), New update on adult learning theories. New directions for adult and continuing education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Soudien,C.(2009).Then and now: The significance of the legacy of June 16,1976 for youth development in South Africa. The international Journal of Learning,14(11),21-26 Wynne, R. (2005). Learner centred methodologies. Retrieved, 5th December, 2011 from: Xiaojing L., Magjuka, R., Bonk, C. J., & Seung-hee L. (2007). Does sense of community matter? Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 8, 9–24


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