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Title: The influence of socio-economic challenges on the learning experiences of Information and Corporate Management third year students : a case study in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Ndaba, Thabile 
Issue Date: 2018
Since 1994, South Africa has experienced major changes in tertiary education. Students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds have been given opportunities to attend historically well-resourced tertiary institutions. However, access to these institutions has brought about a number of socio-economic challenges. Hence this study was conducted by the researcher, who is a lecturer at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), in order to identify the influence of four key socio-economic challenges – namely prior schooling, and social, academic and financial challenges – on the learning experiences of DUT students. A sample of one cohort of Information and Corporate Management third-year students was selected, and the research investigated how the challenges identified appeared to affect the students’ academic performance, thereby increasing the likelihood of failure or dropping out.

The literature to support this study was sourced from secondary (books and journals) as well as institutional sources. The theoretical framework underpinning this research was constructivist and interpretivist, which was understood to be appropriate for research dealing with students and their personal values, experiences and ideas which fed into the findings of the study. The descriptive research design, involving mixed methods, was based on both a quantitative approach (a questionnaire) as well as a qualitative approach (a focus group interview conducted with ten students). Data gathered from the questionnaires was analysed using Partial Least Square (PLS) as well as Excel. Cronbach’s alpha was tested for the reliability of the questionnaires. Tables, graphs and structural modelling were used to analyse the findings.

The analysis of the data revealed that financial problems seemed to be the students’ greatest challenge. The statistics confirmed that 67% of the students strongly agreed or agreed that finance indeed has been their greatest challenge in their three years of study. The second challenge was that of Schooling. The majority of the students from the ICM Department came from below average schools, and it could therefore be concluded that most students in the institution as a whole come from similar schooling. This entails that they are generally not well prepared for tertiary education.
Submitted in fulfilment of the academic requirement of Masters of Management Science in Administration and Information Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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