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From School to Higher Education
Factors affecting the choices of Grade 12 learners
Cosser, Du Toit
280mm X 210mm | 157pp. | 0-7969-2005-2 | R135 | 2002

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Despite wide-spread changes in South Africa, participation in higher education has stayed below the 20% benchmark for middle-income countries. Why are technikons still more popular than universities? Why have enrolment figures not increased significantly after ten years of freedom? And why do Grade 12 learners make the study choices they do?

This study addresses two key objectives in the National Plan for Higher Education: to increase participation in HE and to shift the balance in enrolments from Humanities towards Business and Commerce, as well as Science, Engineering and Technology. Drawing mainly on a survey conducted across all nine provinces in South Africa, it critically examines the socio-economic profile of learners, their intention to enter higher education, and the central factor affecting the type of institution and choice of study.

From School to Higher Education is essential material for those involved in higher education planning and policy-making at both national and institutional level.

About the authors
Michael Cosser is chief research specialist in the HSRC Human Resources Development research programme. Previously head of the Division of Standards Setting at the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), he has lectured and worked in the Academic Staff Development Centre at Witwatersrand University. Cosser has published on SAQA and the National Qualifications Framework and in the fields of English literature and academic staff development - particularly quality assurance.

Jacques du Toit is senior researcher in the HSRC Human Resources Development research programme. He has taught sociology at the universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch and has worked on large-scale quantitative socio-economic surveys in Gauteng and local economic development studies in the East Rand.

List of Tables and Figures

Executive Summary

Part One: Background to the Study
1 Origins and rationale of the study
2 Review of the literature
3 The research problem
4 The research design

Part Two: The Research Findings
5 Profile of the population
6 Learner choice: to study further or not
7 Choosing an institution
8 Choosing a field of study
9 The impact of choices on the future
10 Relative influence of factors on learner choice

Part Three: Looking Forward
11 Implications of the findings
12 Conclusion
Appendix: The Questionnaire

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Part One
Part Two
Part Three