A study conducted at the Durban University of Technology revealed that the majority of students cannot afford to pay tuition fees and as a result their academic performance is negatively affected. the majority of students indicated that they resort to part-time jobs to pay for their personal expenses and tuition fees, however, having to work part-time result in absence. The impacts of missing classes were mentioned to be poor tests marks and even failure.
The majority however, mentioned that personal expenses were not a challenge as they could afford. There were those who said they cannot afford personal expenses as well and would do anything to make ends meet. This proves the challenges that are imposed on students can be as a result of their backgrounds. Finance is a non-academic challenge that however has major impacts on academic performance of the students.
There were other challenges expressed by students that negatively affected their academic progress. These challenges include basic resources and access to. Despite the challenges the students expressed, they were still determined and hopeful in achieving their degrees. They shared their views on how they can improve their academic life despite the financial burden they carry.
The students were very optimistic and they believe that achieving this qualification can change their lives and lead to better careers. When asked about the progress of their course, they showed that things like workload were not much of a challenge as they advised others to avoid procrastination in order to be able to finish tasks on time and meet deadlines to fulfill their obligations as students.
Students feel that there are additional support activities that the institution and lecturers can provide to ease their academic progress. They mentioned being given extra classes for those areas they are struggling with and emphasis on important sections of the modules. They also believe E-learning can also be very helpful where lecturers can post notes and other information on blackboard for easy access. This will also help by giving them more time and come to lectures when it is really important.
They believe that remaining focused and working hard can lead to success. Little things like good time management can improve the students’ academic life. They advised that one should not stress and just remain focused. For those who were stressed, they suggested joining the campus anxiety support group and finding someone they can trust to offload.