n South African Journal of Higher Education - 'Joining the academic life' : South African students who succeed at university despite not meeting standard entry requirements

Volume 28, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



At present the Swedish points system is one of the main determinants of an applicant either being granted or refused entry into many South African higher education institutions (HEIs). Using a grounded theory approach, this article interprets the experiences of participants whose school performance and therefore university 'entry points' were lower than the expected norm. Despite not meeting standard university entry requirements, these students succeeded at university, completing their degrees in the minimum time available and going on to higher degrees. The journey of these participants - from low entry points to academic success - suggests that points based on school performance are not necessarily the best way of identifying students' potential to succeed in the contemporary South African educational context. If their entry points were not a good indication of their ability to thrive at university, the article asks, what is it about these participants that accounts for their success? And what implications does this have for South African practice, not only with regard to admissions policies but also in relation to the responsibilities of HEIs to students once they are admitted?

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error