SUNConferences, SAIIE NeXXXt

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Factors that influence the throughput of engineering students
Cobus Joubert, Karl van der Merwe

Last modified: 2019-08-26


The current throughput rate of engineering students is of significant concern, especially in light of the current financial pressure on universities. In a scarce skills list, which highlights the importance of the problem that South Africa is facing, five engineering disciplines are in the top 10 scarce skills in South Africa. It is therefore important for universities to understand the factors that influence the throughput rate of engineering students, particularly those that the universities have control over.

The purpose of this study is to investigate and identify the factors that influence the throughput of engineering students at Nelson Mandela University. Focus is placed on those factors deemed to be under the control of the university. The quantitative research methodology was identified at the start of this study as being the most appropriate with eight variables identified for the purpose of this study.

The Cronbach alpha coefficient for all the variables was 0.7 or more, meaning that all the variables had an acceptable Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. With the current trends in new technology that are constantly introduced to the public at large, it is clear from the respondents’ points of view that technology could play a huge role in class in the future.

Based on the empirical findings, four of the variables indicated a positive influence on the throughput rate of engineering students. The remaining four variables either showed a slightly positive influence or close to no influence, translating into no significant influence from them.

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