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Title: An investigation into the factors that influence students' choice of a selected private higher education institution in South Africa
Authors: Singh, Divanisingh Kuber 
Issue Date: 2017
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world|” (Educational Quotes – BrainyQuotes: 2001)
Education is not a luxury, education is compulsory…….

The world’s population is ever growing: children are entering school and completing school in their masses year in and year out. Unemployment is a crisis for countries and individuals. Living in poverty is as good as inviting death. With so much emphasis on education, it is intriguing to find solutions and use success to overcome the desire for revenge.
However, in South Africa the challenge is the number of individuals entering Higher Education. The particular challenge is the limited number of government subsidised institutions in South Africa. The country has over 500 000 students completing Grade
12 each year and the Department of Education is constantly striving to improve annual pass rates. However, the challenge remains that the number of seats available at government-subsidised institutions are extremely limited and cannot gratify the number of students completing the NSC examinations annually. They have a right to education. However, the university options offered to these individuals are extremely limited.
Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) are endeavouring to bridge the gap in education and provide alternatives to higher education for individuals who have been rejected for seats at universities. Yet, another challenge is the plethora of PHEIs available in South Africa, making it a difficult choice for students. Whilst PHEIs in South Africa should not be regarded as a business option but rather a necessity,

they are not subsidised by government. Most are privately owned. These institutions compete for survival and unfortunately, revenue margins determine the future existence of these institutions.
The current study focuses on the alternative option for students at private higher education institutions. The researcher sets out to identify the factors that influence individuals to select a PHEI when exposed to the alternative of a university. It is clearly understood that there are criteria involved, which individuals will take into consideration before making a decision. The process of this decision is a lengthy one. However, this option only arises at a latter stage for the individual student as they receive rejection letters from universities. As a last ditch attempt, they are placed in a situation of taking hasty critical decisions. The researcher was interested in how these students reach a final decision on their selected PHEI and which factors play a role in the decision?
The overall aim of the study was to identify the factors that influence students’ decision to choose a selected PHEI to further their studies after Grade 12. A quantitative research method was undertaken to achieve the objectives of the study. One hundred and seventy five students in a program were targeted to complete the survey.
The outcomes of this research will be used to improve the quality at PHEIs and ultimately the PHEIs will adopt strategies that will enable them to plug the gap that government-subsidised institutions cannot fill. The research will assist PHEIs in increasing the number of enrolments by adopting a more precise marketing strategy and using marketing budgets more appropriately; decreasing costs and increasing

the profit margins. This will ensure stronger establishments for PHEIs and contribute to the security of their existence.
In this study it was found that several factors impact on the choices made by students- these include factors driven by social forces, economics, school and community and habitus.
The main choice factors to influence the student’s decision considered during this study were accessibility, branding, quality and cost. In concluding the research the outcomes and variables is discussed in detail in Chapter Five.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Technology: Business Administration, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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