n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Exploring potential challenges of first year student retention and success rates : a case of the school of tourism and hospitality, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


There is now an increasing need for universities to support first year students to more easily transition into the academic environment. This is largely due to many students dropping out in their first year of study due to various factors. Such factors may include socio -economic factors and historical legacies. Although studies have been conducted surrounding student drop-out rates, these have largely been dominated by first world experiences with limited attention focused on the global south or less developed countries. Within this context there is an urgent need to understand local socio-economic variables or other challenges that may contribute to student drop-out rate. This paper reports on a mixed method questionnaire administered to first year Tourism and Hospitality students at the University of Johannesburg. Besides the general challenges of funding, other factors contributing to drop-out rates may be due to Tourism and Hospitality not being a primary career choice. While there is a need for the tourism and hospitality department to strongly promote the university support measures to students, it is also the responsibility of students to take the initiative and also engage with the available systems. Results from this study further indicate that students are not prepared for the workload at tertiary level due to an inadequate secondary foundation administered by the South African government curriculum, with students also not understanding the value of tourism and hospitality as primary career choices.

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