oa South African Journal of Higher Education - Students’ perceptions of some factors influencing academic achievement at a rural South African university

Volume 33 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The expansion of higher education in South Africa resulted in large numbers of tudents gaining access to universities. Research has shown that a major challenge facing higher education institutions is to enable students to succeed in their studies. The higher failure rate in higher education is an indicative of the need for various universities to investigate factors that influence student success. The present study explored participants’ perceptions of factors influencing academic achievement. A qualitative design was adopted and open-ended questions were utilised for data collection purposes.The ten respondents (5 males and 5 females) for the study were conveniently sampled from a rural university in South Africa. Data were analyzed through content analysis. The results indicate that students’academic achievements are influenced by various factors, such as self-motivation, self-discipline, peer support, and lecturers’ teaching approaches. The study concludes that there are variety of factors that impact on students’ academic performance.

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