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Why do students drop out of university in South Africa?

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While there are numerous reasons for why students drop out of university in South Africa, there are three common reasons; poor career choice decision, lack of institutional support and funding.

A student dropping out of university is a common narrative that has been documented by various tertiary institutions. While the common reason for each university study on the matter varies, several noted three reasons as being amongst the most common.

Firstly, some students fail to make the right choice on which career to pursue. It is not uncommon for students to register for a certain course and then change their mind whilst studying. Therefore, some students either drop out to pursue another course in the next semester, or change subjects and their field of study according to their new goal.

The second and third reasons are intertwined. The lack of support a student receives from the higher learning institution has also been noted as a contributing factor. This can be in terms of assistance with understanding the study material and the support structures, or lack thereof. The lack of support can also be in terms of assistance with funding to further one’s education. Many students have dropped out of university because of a lack of financial support to continue furthering their studies.

Sabelo Makhubo
[email protected]

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