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Motivational Factors as a Driver for Success for First-Year Students at a Selected Public University in South Africa

Abstract

Remaining motivated is vital to enable continued focus and success for university students. This study examined motivational factors as a driver for success for first year students at a selected public university in South Africa. The study adopted a phenomenological qualitative research design and participants included 312 first year students from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg who were purposively selected from the 2020 first year Bachelor of Education cohort.  Data were collected by means of open-ended survey questions in the first and sixth week of lectures. Alderfer’s Existence, Relatedness and Growth (ERG) theory (1969) and Vroom’s (1964) theories of motivations were used as the analytic framework. The qualitative findings indicated significant reliance by students on external motivating factors as compared to internal motivating factors. In practice, university structures could strengthen orientation programmes for first year students at the university as these programmes would be an external motivator to enable student success.

Published: 2022-09-12
Issue:Online First
Section:Articles
How to Cite
Moosa, M., & Aloka, P. J. (2022). Motivational Factors as a Driver for Success for First-Year Students at a Selected Public University in South Africa. Student Success. https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.2415

Author Biographies

University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa South Africa

Moeniera Moosa is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Wits School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). She now coordinates the B. Ed programme and coordinated the Teaching Practice office for three years at the Wits School of Education. She lectures in Psychology of Education and Inclusive Education at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level. She has supervised numerous students at postgraduate level and has also published several articles in referenced journals. She completed her PhD in Psychology of Education at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. She is a member of the UNESCO chair in Teacher Education for Diversity and Development. Her research interests are in social psychology, aggression and bullying, inclusive education as well as teaching practice and initial teacher education.

University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa South Africa

Peter JO Aloka holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of the Western Cape. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at Wits School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He has published several articles in refereed journals and also supervised several postgraduate students. He is a member of several international professional psychological societies. His research interests include students’ behavior management, developmental psychology, group dynamics, and adolescent psychology.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795