The academic transitional experience of postgraduate students in the faculty of community and health sciences at the University of the Western Cape
Hoffman, Jeffrey Corne
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Transition has been the major focus of educational institutions. The focal argument of the majority of research into student transition deals with the challenges that students faced when they moved from high school to first year at university. Not much focus has been placed on the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate studies. Postgraduate enrollment rates have steadily grown over the past few years in Higher Education Institution`s (HEI). Support systems have been put in place to assist students. In spite of these available support systems, postgraduate students still find themselves facing challenges when engaging with postgraduate studies. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the academic transitional challenges postgraduate students' experience as reflected by the inconsistencies in the enrollment and throughput rates. Secondly, to determine whether students utilised available support systems, e.g. the Academic Writing Centre and the Postgraduate Enrolment and Throughput (PET) programme at the Faculty of Community and Health Science at University of the Western Cape. This was a quantitative study. A cross sectional survey has been conducted by means of a computerised self-administered questionnaire (CSAQ). The study population was postgraduate students in the Faculty of Community and Health Science at masters' level. Both course work and research students were included in the study. No sampling method was employed due to the small size of the population. Data was collected to explore the academic preparedness of postgraduate students, and there primary motivations for studying and the utilization of available support services at the University of the Western Cape.