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Research on University Education

 

 

List of Papers for Theme C:
Research on University Education and Quality of Life

(Click on the author's name to go to the abstract.)

Author(s) Paper
A B Chimbganda A Study of Communication Strategies Used in the Writing of Answers in Biology by ESL First Year Science Students of the University of Botswana
H. M. Kabeta University-productive sector linkages for quality of life improvement
M. Leotlela Offering a conducive learning environment with the aim of reducing student loss at the National University of Lesotho.
M. Maruping Professional practice and quality of life the case of lecturers in National University of Lesotho
V. M. Ntoi Career decision-making and quality of life among tertiary level students: a case of NUL first year students
B. Otaala Students as tutors and mentors: new initiatives in Namibia
M. R. Phatela The extent to which informal teaching methods influence students' attitudes in the teaching learning of Sesotho literature

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Author: Ambrose B. Chimbganda, Communication and Study Skills Unit, University of Botswana

Title: A Study of Communication Strategies Used in the Writing of Answers in Biology by ESL First Year Science Students of the University of Botswana

This article reports on a study of the communication strategies used in the writing of answers in Biology by ESL first year BSe students of the University of Botswana.The article examines the four macro strategies used: risk taking, risk avoidance, L2 based strategies and semantic simplification strategies. The results showed that while many ESL students preferred to use L2 basic! strategies such as circumlocution, generalisation and paraphrase, these strategies did not considerably help the students in their performance because of the restrictive nature of scientific discourse which requires precision and specificity. The study further showed that those students who were prepared to take risks by exploiting their resource expansion strategies, regardless of the correctness of their grammatical constructions, tended to do better while those students who opted for semantic simplification and risk avoidance strategies under achieved; which supports the empirical observation that the overall communicative competence of the L2 learners could be greatly improved if ESL and EAP teaching paid greater attention to those tasks and activities which enhance their strategic competence.

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Author: Hapenga Monty Kabeta, School of Business, Copperbelt University

Title: University-productive sector linkages for quality of life improvement

The main purpose of every University any where in the world is Human Resource Development through teaching and contribute to improving the quality of life of people through research, consultancy and public service. Universities in developing countries have a more onerous task of addressing the problems of poverty and disease. The University could only contribute to the quality of life if it maintained very close linkages with the productive sector (Mining, Manufacturing Agriculture, Services, etc.).

A case study of Zambia (on going) was undertaken to establish the existence of linkages between the Universities in Zambia and the productive sector. We reviewed the outreach programmes of Universities and industry's efforts to use Universities in solving their management marketing and manufacturing problems. In Zambia there are two public Universities offering various programmes in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, agricultural sciences, mining, medicine among other and have research institutions. We used a stratified sample with sampling elements coming from Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Zambia Association of Manufacturers.

One major striking finding was that there was low level linkages that existed at the official level and suspicion existed between the University and the productive sector. Yet the productive sector and Universities needed each other if they were to contribute to enhancement of the quality of life of the people.

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Author: M'apololro Leotlela, National University of Lesotho

Title: Offering a conducive learning environment with the aim of reducing student loss at the National University of Lesotho

The study investigates the effects of discontinuance of students from the Universities. Students usually apply for admission into Universities with clear aims for their future. When they fail to achieve their dreams the effects become unbearable and consequently disrupt the quality of their lives. After a period of two years when they are readmitted they find programmes changed due to restructuring. There is also an age gap which they usually find very difficult to cope with.

The study will try to find out if the National University of Lesotho (NUL) is offering conducive environment for learning so as to reduce the loss or wastage of students. The participants will be students who have been discontinued and have come back to finish their programmes. Data will be collected on issues such as background, life before discontinue and life after discontinue using questionnaires.

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Author: Dr. Mpoeakae Maruping, Department of Science Education, National University of Lesotho

Title: Professional practice and quality of life the case of lecturers in National University of Lesotho

Amar (1996) sees the concept of quality of life as "an open, unfinished project that is continually moving towards its realization" (p.5). For professionals, this, in Maslow's (1943) thinking, implies continuous improvement in need satisfaction towards self-actualization. The extent to which a professional achieves this is speculated to be related to the profession in which he is practising. Most university lecturers especially in Africa, consider themselves professionals in their various disciplines other than education; but since they teach, they tend to see themselves also as professionals in the area, though they might not be trained teachers. Some of them feel that, given the generally unfavourable treatment of teachers, they would have done better in achieving a higher quality of life if they were practising in the area of their 'first' profession.

This study looks at the influence of the teaching profession they are practising as opposed to their 'first' profession on their level of perceived attainment of a high quality of life. Drawing data from questionnaire administered on lecturers at the National University of Lesotho, the study tested the hypothesis that for the teachers, their practice, whether in the area of their 'first' or 'second' profession significantly influences their attaining a perceived level of quality of life. The findings are discussed and related recommendations are made.

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Author: V. M. Ntoi, Institute of Education, National University of Lesotho

Title: Career decision-making and quality of life among tertiary level students: a case of NUL first year students

Lack of career education at secondary school level means that students land at tertiary institutions without any guidance on career opportunities and requisite skills for specific jobs.

This study sought to find out if there is any relationship between the course of study chosen and the student's interest, abilities and competencies. It also sought to find the extent to which the Self-Directed Search Instrument could be used to guide Basotho students to make a career choice that will lead to self-satisfaction thereby enhancing their quality of life.

Data was generated through the administration of Holland's (1977) Self-Directed Search to 56 year one students. Analysis was done through the occupations Finder (Holland 1977).

The results show that for 27 students there is a discrepancy between the course of study and the students' interest, abilities and competencies. They also show that the Self-Directed search is an appropriate instrument for guiding Basotho students in their career choice.

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Author: Prof. Barnabas Otaala, University of Namibia

Title: Students as tutors and mentors - new initiatives in Namibia

After definitions of "tutoring" and "mentoring" the paper presents the Namibian case of resolving the inherited asymmetry in basic and tertiary education. Selected approaches needed to redress and improve the distorted learning/teaching potential of individual students and teachers are investigated.

The presentation invites discussion and advice from participants who have experience in launching student mentoring and tutoring under similar difficult circumstances elsewhere.

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Author: 'Masekake R. Phatela, National University of Lesotho

Title: The extent to which informal teaching methods influence students' attitudes in the teaching learning of Sesotho literature

In the teaching of literature students are often taught through the reading method. The use of this method usually creates a heavy and stiff class, in terms of wanting to do work on their own, and become heavily dependent on the teacher. The hypothesis is that students who are taught through informal teaching methods such as class presentation, group discussions and question-and-answer sessions would change their attitudes towards content to be learned and tasks to be carried out in Sesotho-Literature; again these would make students apply the highest levels of the cognitive domain in their literature learning.

To test the hypothesis, observations were made along class presentations. A questionnaire was also administered to two groups (classes) taught through these informal methods. The data collected through the means of both observation and questionnaire were analysed to find the extent to which the informal methods of teaching have changed students' attitudes towards the learning of Sesotho Literature.

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Last modified:  26-Apr-99