Understanding student through-put and retention in a higher education developing world context (ELKS Webinar)
I’ve heard from Dr Palitha Edirisingha at Leicester University about a newly planned webinar for the ELKS International Elearning Community.
The University of South Africa (Unisa) has as its vision “Towards the African university in the service of humanity.” With its almost 300 000 students, Unisa is one of the mega-universities in the world and the largest in Africa. As the only dedicated comprehensive distance education provider in South Africa, Unisa faces unique opportunities and challenges with regard to contributing to realising the dreams and aspirations of a post-apartheid democracy in a developmental state, providing responsible open access to previously disadvantaged individuals and groups in redressing the injustices and inequities of the past and providing sustainable and appropriate student support optimising students’ chances of success.
Most of the current conceptual models on student throughput and retention are developed within the context of residential North Atlantic higher education settings. Although there are some research efforts and proposals specifically dedicated to understanding student retention and throughput in the context of distance education, there is very little research and conceptual exploration regarding the impact of the specific African context on understanding student throughput and retention in an open and distance learning environment.
This proposed social-critical model is the first such conceptual model in a distance education environment in a developing world context. We are of the opinion that the model and its implementation and refinement will considerably impact on enhancing the quality of teaching and learning at Unisa. As such the model is an important and innovative initiative to define, inform, encourage, increase and sustain retention, throughput and active student participation.
Originally published on reachfurther.com