n South African Journal of Higher Education - Academic and social integration in three first-year groups : a holistic perspective




The academic and social integration of 'new' students in higher education settings seems crucial for study commitment, study success and preventing early student departure. It has been well documented that the level of student integration has a major influence on both the commitment of students to their studies and the contribution towards study success. Moreover, authors have pointed to the close relationship between first-year integration and student motivation. There is, however, a complex relationship among personal, academic and social factors (Terenzini et al. 1996) that makes any simplified explanation of student persistence and study success problematic, proving a holistic perspective valuable.

The article compares findings from a three-tiered survey for the three first-year groups at one university and discusses their implications for student integration and potential study success against a framework provided by Louw (2005) and others. It points to the potential value of such surveys for feedback in terms of projected study success, lecturers' teaching and support strategies as well as the support roles of academic services.


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