Assessing academic success among off-campus students: A case study of Majuba Technical, Vocational Educational and Training College, Centre for People's Development Campus, South Africa

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Sokhela, Sizangani Pinkie Imaan
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University of the Free State
The Department of Higher Education in South Africa merged all technical colleges, colleges of education, and training centres into 50 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges to turn the smaller, weaker colleges into stronger institutions. This merger allowed the new bigger colleges the capacity to offer more educational programmes and the capacity to take more students, thus improving the issue of access to education and training (Human Resource Development Council for South Africa, 2013). Human development views the TVET sector as one of the means to develop capabilities, which are the opportunities that can lead to what the capability approach terms as "functioning" that the individual and communities at large can value (Tikly, 2013). The merger of the colleges meant that the youth had to temporarily move from their home and stay in the towns where the colleges are to be able to attend classes frequently. Few colleges were able to build college-owned accommodation facilities and students have to rent privately owned accommodation from the households within the area where campuses are based. The study seeks to understand and assess the academic success of students staying in the off-campus private accommodation, with the focus being the students of Majuba TVET college, Centre for People's Development (CPD) Campus. The capability approach is employed in analyzing the experiences of the students. The researcher adopted the qualitative research approach in form of a case study design. The information was gathered through semi-structured interviews with a total of 20 students that are enrolled for N5 and N6 from report 191 programmes, and L3 and L4 from the National Certificate Vocational (NCV). A thematic data analysis method was applied using the CA tenets. Findings from the study show that the South African government provided students in the TVET sector with National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) so that students from poor economic backgrounds can access education and training opportunities. The unavailability of college-owned accommodation forces the students to seek private off-campus accommodation, which exposes them to several negative conversion factors that negatively affect their overall academic experience.
Dissertation (MDS (Development Studies))--University of the Free State, 2022