n South African Journal of Higher Education - Students and their presenting concerns at a Student Counselling Service at a South African university

Volume 21, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article presents a summary of the concerns and the demographic data collected from clients at the Student Counselling Service (SCS) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, during the period of March 2001 to April 2003. First-time presenting clients who are enrolled students, were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire, of which 844 were collected.

The demographic profile of the presenting students resembles the profile of the total student population at UCT with exception of graduate status and home language. More undergraduate students and more English second language speakers made use of our service. This is in line with data from other student counselling services in South Africa (Naidoo 1999; Nicholas 1997).
The results indicate that the most frequent presenting concerns amongst students are difficulties with concentration, difficulties with motivation, depression, tiredness and fatigue. Over a third of students felt that their problems are affecting them academically 'a lot'.
The results are discussed and compared to data from other university counselling services.The results of this survey contribute to formulating a meaningful response to students' concerns. In addition, the results assist in identifying vulnerable students.

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