Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Research in Education
The Struggles Experienced by First Year Computer Programming Students at a University in South Africa
The highest rate of student attrition usually occurs in the first year at university where a large quantity of students either fail or drop out. The high attrition rate can be accounted to a number of determinants. In this paper we investigate what these determinants could be. A questionnaire was given to 114 first year students studying the Diploma Business Information Technology at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. The study was quantitative. The results show that the contributing factors to computer programming students struggling in their first year of study, can be deemed to be the transition of students from high school to university, English being a student’s second language (ESL) rather than first language, the difficulty of the subject computer programming, and Information Technology (IT) not being a student’s first study choice.
Keywords: Information Technology, first-year struggles, student attrition.