National resource centre to address first-year transition for SA students

In an effort to improve student success and decrease the dropout rates in South Africa, especially for those transitioning from school to University, the South African National Resource Centre for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition (SANRC) has been established.

A first in the country, the centre is located within the University of Johannesburg's (UJ) Bunting Road Campus in Auckland Park but will be co-ordinated with all tertiary institutions in the country.

702's John Robbie spoke to Director of UJ's Academic Development Centre, Dr. Andre van Zyl about the initiative.

Its more than the first years that we look at. The main aim at the centre is to create a base to address first year transitions and we aren't getting it right yet, nationally. The idea of the SANRC is so that we create national research and resource base; so that throughout the country’s universities.

Resource partnerships

Van Zyl says that they have created a partnership with the national resource centre in the United States, which has been running for 25 years, to receive access to additional resources and research.

He says that they will need South African information to make it relevant to our context. In line with this, they will host an annual conference on the first-year experience of transitioning.

More than 90% of US universities have first-year resource programs and we would be the first resource program of this nature outside of the US. We are now going to have an annual conference on the first-year experience of transitioning and carry out a national research project.

Listen to the full conversation on The John Robbie Show:

Also read our article: 'Stoogle' it: information on tertiary studies in SA brought closer to students.

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