n South African Journal of Higher Education - A conceptual framework for understanding pre-entry factors influencing first-year university experience : leading article
|Article Title||A conceptual framework for understanding pre-entry factors influencing first-year university experience : leading article|
|© Publisher:||Higher Education South Africa (HESA)|
|Journal||South African Journal of Higher Education|
|Affiliations||1 Cape Peninsula University of Technology and 2 Cape Peninsula University of Technology|
|Publication Date||Jan 2016|
|Pages||1 - 21|
|Keyword(s)||Academic integration, Cultural capital, First-year experience, Habitus and Social integration|
Student cohorts entering universities in South Africa have become more diverse; making the first-year experience more complex to understand. In order to address these challenges, a conceptual framework that accounts for the situated circumstances of the diverse students entering higher education is explored. The conceptual framework integrates key concepts from Bourdieu's (1984; 1990) conceptual tools and Tinto's (1975; 1993) student integration model. The framework facilitates in-depth understanding of pre-entry factors influencing first-year experience. To test the efficacy of the conceptual model, an analysis of one student's negotiations through her first-year university experience is reported. This article highlights the utility of this framework, identifying the manner in which pre-entry factors from the participant's situated context assisted in explaining how habitus shaped her first-year experience and academic performance. The themes identified: determination, motivation and self-resilience, helped understand why this participant made decisions that influenced her social and academic integration at university. Study outcomes suggest some initial insights and a starting point to influence actions that might improve university transition and integration of students from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds.
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