Student poverty in higher education: the impact of higher education dropout on poverty

SOURCE: Education and poverty reduction strategies: issues of policy coherence: colloquium proceedings
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Letseka, M.Breier
SOURCE EDITOR(S): S.Maile
KEYWORDS: HIGHER EDUCATION, POVERTY, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5514

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

Data on higher education trends in South Africa indicate that 50% of students enrolled in higher education institutions drop out in their first three years with about 305 dropping out in their first year. This is despite the fact that some of these students will have passed their senior certificate with endorsement, merit or distinction. Many students also come from poverty-stricken families and are indebted to the National Student financial Aid Scheme, and other education funding agencies which support their studies. The drop out phenomenon does therefore not bode well for efforts to break the vicious cycle of poverty and is the major cause of the unacceptable low throughput rates in the higher education system. This chapter draws on the HSRC's Student Pathways Study (2005), which examined student dropout in South Africa's Higher education system, focusing on seven of the Higher Education institutions in particular.