South African students in the 21st Century:
towards a holistic understanding of the First
Year Experience
Presentation by André van Zyl
First Year Experience coordinator
Who are our students?
diverse excited
proud
expectant
hopeful confident
unrealistic
anxious
community hope 1st generation
anxious
FYE Seminar 20/10/09
high achievers
And what do they find?
information overload
strange languages
sharp responses new friends
friendly faces crowds
institutional silence
unfamiliarity scary staff
difficult accents
incomprehensible texts
FYE Seminar
Many go from this . . .
Some stark facts
• We are working with the top 10% of
our country’s young people
• Less than 50% of SA students achieve
a qualification after 5 years
• Up to 30% of students drop out in
their first year of study
What is the FYE?
…a holistic programme which encompasses
all aspects of first year student experience
in the context of an invitational and
equitable institution. It comprises both
curricular and extra-curricular initiatives,
and is far more than a single event,
programme or course. It attempts to
establish an ethos and a way of life, through
which all first year students will experience
the transition into university life
FYE initiatives for 2010
• Placement testing
• Orientation
• Extended orientation
• Tracking students
• Tutors
• Co-curricular activities
• Residences as centres of academic
excellence
Who are our students
• In groups of three to four, describe a
typical UJ student
• Demographically
• School background
• Home background
• SES background
• Expectations
Age cat
Some pre-entry attributes…
Valid
Frequency
251
Percent
13.9
Valid Percent
13.9
Cumulative
Percent
13.9
b. 18
864
47.7
47.8
61.7
c. 19
433
23.9
24.0
85.7
d. 20
138
7.6
7.6
93.4
e. 21
58
3.2
3.2
96.6
f. 22
16
.9
.9
97.5
g. 23 or older
46
2.5
2.5
100.0
1806
99.8
100.0
4
.2
1810
100.0
a. Younger than 18
Total
Missing
Total
System
Gender
Frequency
Valid
Missing
Total
Male
Percent
Valid Percent
Cumulative
Percent
431
23.8
23.9
23.9
Female
1376
76.0
76.1
100.0
Total
1807
99.8
100.0
3
.2
1810
100.0
System
Do you worry that a lack of money will force you to abandon your studies?
Frequency
Valid
Missing
Total
Percent
Valid Percent
Cumulative
Percent
a. Yes
702
38.8
39.0
39.0
b. No
1100
60.8
61.0
100.0
Total
1802
99.6
100.0
8
.4
1810
100.0
System
How will your studies be financed during 2007?
Frequency
Valid
734
40.6
57.4
57.4
c. A loan (Bank, TEFSA
etc.)
297
16.4
23.2
80.6
d. I have a bursary
51
2.8
4.0
84.6
e. I will work to pay for
my own s tudies
20
1.1
1.6
86.2
f. A combination of the
answers given above
159
8.8
12.4
98.6
18
1.0
1.4
100.0
1279
70.7
100.0
531
29.3
1810
100.0
Total
Total
Valid Percent
a. My parents/family will
pay for my studies
b. My parents/family will
pay for a part and for the
rest I will borrow money
Missing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Sys tem
Which statement best describes you?
First Generation Status
Frequency
Valid
666
36.8
37.1
37.1
b. One of my parents
attended univers ity
246
13.6
13.7
50.8
98
5.4
5.5
56.2
d. One or more of my
brothers and sisters
attended univers ity
334
18.5
18.6
74.8
e. Many members of
my family (including
my parents) have
attended univers ity
453
25.0
25.2
100.0
1797
99.3
100.0
13
.7
1810
100.0
Total
Total
Valid Percent
a. I am the first
member of my family
to attend university
c. Both my parents
attended univers ity
Mis sing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
System
Qualification of parent with highest academic qualification
Family HE
history
Frequency
Valid
Total
Valid Percent
a. Some schooling but did
not finich matric
235
13.0
18.4
18.4
b. Completed matric
(Grade 12) successfully
248
13.7
19.5
37.9
c. Less than three years
studies after matric
205
11.3
16.1
54.0
d. Three years of studies
after matric (i.e. B-degree
or diploma etc.)
254
14.0
19.9
73.9
e. More than three years
studies after matric
332
18.3
26.1
100.0
1274
70.4
100.0
536
29.6
1810
100.0
Total
Missing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Sys tem
Grade 12 performance
I think making friends at UJ will be...
Frequency
Valid
a. Very tough
Total
Valid Percent
99
5.5
5.5
5.5
b. Somewhat difficult
418
23.1
23.2
28.7
c. Relatively easy
870
48.1
48.3
77.0
d. Very eas y
414
22.9
23.0
100.0
1801
99.5
100.0
9
.5
1810
100.0
Total
Missing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Sys tem
Mathematics
Frequency
Valid
Missing
Total
Mathematics HG
Percent
Valid Percent
Cumulative
Percent
166
9.2
13.2
13.2
no
1091
60.3
86.8
100.0
Total
1257
69.4
100.0
553
30.6
1810
100.0
System
How would you describe the role of your family in your academic career?
Frequency
Valid
a. They are very
supportive and helpful
Total
Valid Percent
1375
76.0
76.3
76.3
b. They don't care what
happens with my studies
10
.6
.6
76.8
c. The put pressure on
me to be here
11
.6
.6
77.4
d. The put pressure on
me to perform well
185
10.2
10.3
87.7
e. They show some
interest but are not very
involved
222
12.3
12.3
100.0
1803
99.6
100.0
7
.4
1810
100.0
Total
Missing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Sys tem
Have you considered enrolling for a different study programme?
Valid
Frequency
1045
Percent
57.7
Valid Percent
58.1
Cumulative
Percent
58.1
b. Yes, but I did not
change it
542
29.9
30.1
88.3
c. Yes, and I changed
it to something else
211
11.7
11.7
100.0
1798
99.3
100.0
12
.7
1810
100.0
a. No
Total
Missing
Total
System
How far away from campus do you plan to live during your studies?
Commuting
students
Frequency
Valid
Total
Valid Percent
a. On campus
254
14.0
14.1
14.1
b. Within easy walking
distance from campus
337
18.6
18.8
32.9
c. Less than 20 minutes
by car or bus away from
campus
341
18.8
19.0
51.9
d. Between 20 minutes
and 1 hour per car or
bus away from campus
646
35.7
35.9
87.8
e. More than 1 hour per
car or bus away from
campus
219
12.1
12.2
100.0
1797
99.3
100.0
13
.7
1810
100.0
Total
Mis sing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
System
How many hours per week did you spend on homework and studying?
Previous study habits
Frequency
Valid
Total
Valid Percent
a. Less than 5
hours per week
215
11.9
16.8
16.8
b. Between 5 and
10 hours per week
413
22.8
32.4
49.2
c. Between 10 and
15 hours per week
331
18.3
25.9
75.2
d. Between 15 and
20 hours per week
214
11.8
16.8
91.9
e. More than 20
hours per week
103
5.7
8.1
100.0
1276
70.5
100.0
534
29.5
1810
100.0
Total
Missing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Sys tem
How many hours per week do you plan to study during this year (2007)?
Frequency
Valid
Total
Valid Percent
a. Less than 10 - 2
hours or less per day
130
7.2
7.2
7.2
b. Between 10 and 15 up to 2.5 hours per day
376
20.8
20.9
28.1
c. Between 15 and 25 2.5-4 hours per day
664
36.7
36.8
64.9
d. Between 25 and 35 4-6 hours per day
495
27.3
27.5
92.3
e. More than 35 - 7
hours or more per day
138
7.6
7.7
100.0
1803
99.6
100.0
7
.4
1810
100.0
Total
Missing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Sys tem
Which of the following reasons would best describe why you are studying for a degree?
Frequency
Valid
a. Because I really want to
32.1
32.2
32.2
b. Because I don't know
what else to do next
30
1.7
1.7
33.9
c. Because my parents or
family want me to
13
.7
.7
34.6
d. Because I don't want to
start working yet
8
.4
.4
35.1
860
47.5
47.7
82.8
46
2.5
2.6
85.3
2
.1
.1
85.4
263
14.5
14.6
100.0
1803
99.6
100.0
7
.4
1810
100.0
h. Other reasons
f. To get away from home
g. To learn about things
that really interest me
Total
Total
Valid Percent
581
e. To improve my future
job opportunities
Missing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Sys tem
English rating
English is:
Frequency
Valid
Total
Valid Percent
a. My first language
791
43.7
43.8
43.8
b. My second language
948
52.4
52.5
96.3
c. My third language
54
3.0
3.0
99.3
d. My fourth or further
language
12
.7
.7
100.0
1805
99.7
100.0
5
.3
1810
100.0
Total
Mis sing
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
System
Understanding our students
• Is it important?
• Who are they?
• The concepts of cultural capital and
habitus
• The role of the FYE
Questions and/or comments
• X 3285
• [email protected]
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UNDERSTANDING FIRST