n South African Journal of Higher Education - Failure by distance education students in economic and management sciences

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Distance tertiary education institutions struggle with the problem of student failures and low throughput rates even more than residential tertiary education institutions. The objective of the study was to conduct a survey amongst failed students to determine, in their opinion, what their reasons are for failing examinations for the module(s) or subject(s) for which they were interviewed. Data were subjected to several forms of analysis to test the stability of the data and to determine whether there are significant differences between the contribution of the factors to the failure of students. Factors such as previous academic performance and language proficiency of the sampled students were not taken into account. The results show that there is a significant correlation between enrolling for too many modules or subjects and work-related reasons for failure. This correlation is reinforced where personal reasons are of such a nature that they may also influence studies negatively.

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