The subjective experiences of Psychology Honours students enrolled at a faith-based institution
Paris, Natasha Lynn
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The demand for study places in Honours courses in Psychology far exceeds the available places in courses at government-funded universities. Private institutions are increasingly offering such courses to address the need for enrolment and to capitalize on a market niche. Students who are unsuccessful at mainstream universities might apply for courses at private institutions, even those offered at faith-based universities regardless of their personal spiritual beliefs and values. There is a clear gap in the literature exploring the experiences of students enrolled at faith-based private institutions. The study attempted to gain insight into the subjective experiences of students enrolled in a Psychology Honours programme at a faith-based institution in the Western Cape. The proposed study incorporated an exploratory research design and employed qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. Semi-structured individual interviews were used to collect data from a purposively selected sample and transcripts were subjected to a content analysis. Data collection and analysis occurred in parallel until reaching the threshold number. Ethics clearance and project registration was obtained from the UWC Senate Research committee and all relevant ethics principles were upheld. The findings indicated that faith based institutions are not homogenous and that students enrolled at faith based institutions are respectively not homogenous. Findings further indicate that alignment does exist between the core values of participants and their discipline choice, and not that participants‘ faith beliefs were necessarily aligned with that of the institution.