Student perceptions of factors influencing throughput in an accounting programme in Botswana
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016
ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The aim of this study was to investigate students’ throughput in an Accounting programme at Botho University, a Botswana university. There is a high demand for qualified Chartered Accountants in Botswana, and the issues of dropout, reduced retention and attrition of accounting students especially in the Department of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) have contributed to this national shortage. The study used an interactive qualitative analysis (IQA) methodology and was situated within the interpretivist research paradigm. The research focused on only one constituency, a selected group of AAT students who failed to progress from semester 1 to semester 2. The study involved research activities which included conducting focus group and individual interviews with participants gaining an understanding of the identified problem through the analysis and interpretation of data collected. The researcher compared the system influence diagrams (SIDs) for focus group and individual interviews, and the research revealed that low student throughput was as a result of inconsistencies in institutional policies, socio-economic problems, lack of students’ commitment and poor interaction between lecturers and students. The findings in this study further revealed that there were some discrepancies between Botho University’s assessment policy and how the AAT diploma was offered in the United Kingdom. Botho University finds itself in the dilemma of handling contradictory competing goals between the financier (Department of Tertiary Education and Financing) and the franchiser (Association of Accounting Technicians). The study reported in this thesis indicated that it may take time for Botho University to amend its institutional policy due to complex compliance matters. However, the following are the suggested implications to be considered in order to address low student throughput at Botho University, based on the participants’ perceptions: an improvement in the provision of library space, recruitment of specialised academic personnel (subject matter experts), and flexible timetabling. Finally, considering the challenges revealed in this study, implementation of strategies towards improving the situation is encouraged in order to address the low student throughput at Botho University.
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