Intercultural peer group interactions, integration and student persistence between Nigerian students and students from other countries at a university in the Western Cape
Babalola, Marian O
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As a Nigerian, I became interested in investigating how Nigerian students, from different cultural backgrounds are able to integrate and persist in their academic programmes. I used Tinto‟s (1993) Longitudinal Model of Institutional Departure as a foundation for my conceptual framework. I adopted a qualitative research approach as this provides opportunities for interpretations by both participants and the researcher. I purposively selected 20 Nigerian students who were at different stages of their Master‟s programmes at a university in the Western Cape province of South Africa, but only 12 students were available and interviewed. The data reveals a significant relationship between intercultural peer group interactions, formal social integration and student persistence, while there was no significant relationship between intercultural peer group interaction, informal social integration and student persistence. Furthermore, informal social integration was partially related to formal academic integration and student persistence. Finally, it emerged that informal academic integration was also strongly linked to social integration and academic success. Due to the limiting nature of a research paper, the research has been restricted to the Nigerian experience to allow an insider perspective.