Experiences of Student Support in the Distance Mode Bachelor of Nursing Science Degree at the University of Namibia

Carol Denise Du Plessis, Lucy Alexander, Daniel Opotamutale Ashipala, Esther Kamenye


The aim of this study was to understand the way in which students experienced the support services offered by the University of Namibia’s distance education unit – the Centre for External Studies. The study explored students’ experiences and their perceptions of the administrative, social and academic support services provided by the University of Namibia.

The research design was qualitative and exploratory with the study using focus groups and interviews for the purposes of data collection. The sample comprised forty Bachelor of Nursing Science students who were enrolled at both campuses of the university between 2005 and 2011, as well as seven staff members who were involved in the student support services. Relevant documents and interviews pertaining to the envisioned support services from the Centre for External Studies served as the basis for the evaluation of the services offered. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The findings from the two campuses were then compared.

The findings reflected positive experiences of support from both family and lecturers, as well as positive perceptions of institutional offerings such as video conferences. However, the study also found some institutional weaknesses in terms of programme delivery such as the late delivery of study materials, which had an impact on the students’ submission of assignments, and inadequate communication systems which affected the delivery of support workshops.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v5n4p103


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International Journal of Higher Education
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