Factors that affect the persistence of Master of Occupational Therapy students at Stellenbosch University

Sheik Ismail, Arifa (2014-04)

Thesis (MOccTher)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The retention and throughput rates of postgraduate students are a national and an international concern. There is a tendency for postgraduate students, irrespective of which Master of Occupational Therapy programme they are registered for, to have difficulty in completing the thesis or research assignment, resulting in delayed throughput or non-completion. This study aimed to understand and describe from the postgraduate student’s perspective, what factors facilitated or hindered the completion of the Master of Occupational Therapy programmes. Qualitative research using a phenomenological design was used in order to obtain a rich description of the students’ lived experiences in the M-programmes so as to gain insight into their experiences. Purposive sampling was used and data was generated by means of in-depth, one-to-one interviews. The findings have shown that numerous factors in various combinations at different points in time during the study period shaped the experience of the mature, female, part-time postgraduate student. Participants were intrinsically motivated to engage in studies as they desired the growth in their professional knowledge and skills. The experience of supervision varied depending on how the student and supervisor were matched and on the student’s expectations and needs of the relationship. The development of critical thinking and writing skills required effort and time, which influenced the postgraduate student’s motivation, retention and throughput rate. Within the work environment very little negotiation for study opportunity was possible. Although this negotiation was far more likely within the home and with family, household and family responsibilities persisted over the long study period of two or more years. This study has shown that the main hindrances to the completion of studies are the lack of time and the demands of the multiple roles that the mature, female part-time postgraduate student has to contend with.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die volharding en deurvloeikoers van nagraadse studente is nasionaal sowel as internasionaal ‘n bekommernis. Daar is ‘n tendens vir nagraadse studente om te sukkel met die voltooing van die tesis of navorsingsopdrag, afgesien van die Meester in Arbeidsterpie program waarvoor hulle gerigestreer is. Die doel van hierdie studie was om vanuit die nagraadse student se perspektief, die faktore wat die voltooing van die Meester van Arbeidsterapie programme fasiliteer of verhinder te verstaan en beskryf,. Kwalitatiewe navorsing met ‘n fenomenologiese navorsingsontwerp is gebruik om ‘n ryk verduideliking van die student se ervaringe van die M-programme te bekom om sodoende insig in hul ervarings te kry. Daar is van ‘n doelgerigte steekproef gebruik gemaak en data is gegenereer deur middel van in-diepte een-tot-een onderhoude. Die bevindinge het getoon dat verskeie faktore in verskillende kombinasies op verkillende tye gedurende die studie-periode die ervaring van die deelnemers as volwasse, vroulike, deeltydse nagraadse studente bepaal het. Nagraadse studente was intrinsiek gemotiveerd om te studeer omdat hulle wou groei ten opsigte van hul professionele kennis en vaardighede. Hul ervaring van studieleiding is bepaal deur hoe gepas die studieleier vir die betrokke student was en ook van die student se verwagtinge en behoeftes van die studieleier-student verhouding. Die ontwikkeling van kritiese denke en skryfvaardighede het inspanning en tyd vereis, wat die nagraadse student se motivering, volharding en deurvloeikoers beïnvloed het. Min onderhandeling vir studie-geleenthede was moontlik binne die werksomgewing. Alhoewel hierdie onderhandeling meer moontlik binne die huis- en familie omgewing was, het huishoudelike en familie verantwoordelikhede steeds voortgegaan oor die lang studie tydperk van twee of meer jare. Hierdie studie het bevind dat die grootste hindernisse vir die voltooiing van studies die tekort aan tyd en die eise van die meervoudige rolle waarmee die volwasse, vroulike deeltydse student worstel is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86200
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