Why has Widening Access to Tertiary, in South Africa, Not Resulted in Success?
Widening access was a strategy aimed at transforming tertiary education to ensure that it was inclusive and could serve as a broad base for social redress. For this purpose, Higher Education introduced intervention measures aimed at facilitating access for students, representative of the country’s demographics as well as their successful completion of their studies. However concerns become apparent when one balances the successes against the widened access. Twenty years into the expected transformation, issues such as, the extent of student under-preparedness, low retention and graduation rates, high unemployment levels of certain categories of tertiary graduates mean the idea of inclusiveness needs to be interrogated. The aim of this paper was to reflect on reasons why widening access has not resulted in academic success. This reflective paper shows that success has been negatively affected by endemic challenges arising from two sectors of the education system. These challenges were summarized as issues surrounding secondary schooling and policies and attitude of HEIs, government and society to tertiary education. These concerns formed the focus of our discussions in the subsequent sections of the paper.
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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