The opinions of lecturers at a university of technology regarding their role in supporting students experiencing barriers to learning
High retention rates, low levels of academic literacy and inundated support services show that students enrolled at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are experiencing difficulty coping with the demands of tertiary study and reaching their academic goals. Literature shows that a significant number of students who are attending HEIs experience barriers to learning, both intrinsic and extrinsic. The aim of this study was to determine the opinions of lecturers at one University of Technology regarding their role in supporting students experiencing barriers to learning. The researcher used a mixed methods approach to collect data with the aim to describe the phenomenon accurately. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model provided a theoretical framework for this study as it emphasizes the importance of the interaction between the development of an individual and the systems within the individual’s social context. A purposive sampling strategy was employed, and self-structured questionnaires were given to lecturers who teach first year to post-graduate students at the University of Technology. After the statistical analysis of the quantitative data, fifteen lecturers were randomly chosen to participate in individual semi-structured interviews. The transcriptions of the interviews were coded and themes were identified. Using the constant comparative method of data analysis, the researcher aimed to explain the results of quantitative data analysis. The key findings revealed that lecturers feel inadequate to deal with barriers to learning; mainly owing to a lack of training and that they are mainly of opinion that their duty is to refer students for support.
- Education