An investigation into the scope, role, and function of student development and support within the context of higher education in South Africa (2024)

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This paper explores the argument that to widen participation in higher education, educational institutions should bear a greater responsibility for students’ learning. Central to this debate is the notion of ‘academic support’. There are many perspectives on what works to scaffold student participation and learning but rarely are the perspectives of those receiving support taken into account. This paper reports the findings of an exploratory ethnographic study in which students in a vocational college in South Africa reflected on the nature of academic support and access to it. Student narratives that underpin their understandings of how the support system ‘worked’, and what responsibilities they and the college respectively bore for their studies, are compared to the official prescript on student support services in South Africa – the so-called ‘Student Support Services Manual’ which was developed by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The data ind...

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An investigation into the scope, role, and function of student development and support within the context of higher education in South Africa (2024)
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