Student affairs and services during Covid-19 in Africa: mitigating the pandemic's impact on student success

SOURCE: Journal of Student Affairs in Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2021
TITLE AUTHOR(S): B.Schreiber, T.Luescher, B.Perozzi, L.B.Moscaritolo
KEYWORDS: ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, COVID-19, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT), UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 12008
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/16034
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/16034

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Abstract

The Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges that present obstacles to equitable learning and development in higher education in various parts of the world. African higher education and Student Affairs and Services (SAS) are faced with a set of challenges that are in part related to the resources within the institutions and in part due the sociocultural context into which the institutions are embedded. It is with this background that this study explores the impact of Covid 19 on SAS in Africa, as part of a wider lens on SAS across the globe. The study was conducted with an online survey which generated 781 responses of Student Affairs practitioners from across the globe, of which 118 were from the African continent. The data show SAS's critical role in mediating the various domains within and beyond the higher education institution that impact on student success. The domains that impact on student success include the students' personal experiences, the public domain, the sociocultural community and familial milieu, and the institutional/ SAS domain. Thus, this article discusses SASs critical role in mediating the impact of these four domains on the student living and learning experience. The purpose of this article is to discuss the data and to use the data to gain insights into the way SAS has played a role in mitigating the impacts of Covid 19 in four domains relevant for student success. Based on our findings, a systemic-contextual model is proposed that illustrates the relevance of four domains that need to synergise for students to be successful. Our data suggests that while SAS and universities do a great deal to support students in their learning, factors in the public domain, factors in the sociocultural community and familial milieu need to be conducive to learning to enable more student success in Africa.