oa South African Journal of Higher Education - Retention : predicting first-year success : research in higher education

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Universities and technikons have been struggling to meet the demands of growing numbers of students who enter higher education with limited skills. Higher Education literature abroad provides an exhaustive range of theory about the reasons for students leaving (cited in Strauss & Volkwein 2002), as well as proposals for positive intervention. It is critical for administrators in South Africa to understand the unique combination of factors contributing to student attrition at their institutions. This study aims to predict the probability for a first-time entering student to register and pass all required first-year courses at Technikon Pretoria using various predictor variables. The results from this study indicate that the Grade 12 aggregate and major field of study were the most important predictors for the success of students in the first year. The results of the study can also be incorporated into enrollment planning within the institution.

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