Navigating the challenges of lecturers’ retention in South Africa: Perspective of a rurally located university
Keywords:Lecturers’ retention, Retention; university lecturers; retain; rural campus., institutional challenges, rural university, internal and external challenges
Most university students do not get the opportunity to graduate in the presence of their first-year lecturers because those lecturers may have moved to another university. The identified challenge is that universities, notably those located rurally, cannot retain their lecturers for extended periods. Therefore, the study explores the challenges hindering lecturers’ retention in a rurally located South African University. The qualitative study included 14 participants from the selected university, using purposive and convenience sampling methods. A semi-structured interview was used to elicit information from the participants within the principles of Participatory case study design. Braun and Clarke’s six-step thematic analysis method was adopted to analyse the data thematically. The study found that salaries and benefits, along with physical working conditions, are institutional challenges to retaining lecturers, while factors such as lack of stability and loss of interest at work are internal and external challenges affecting lecturers’ retention in their workplaces. The study concluded that institutional challenges are within the control of university administration and addressing them can help retain more lecturers. On the other hand, internal and external challenges, such as lack of stability and loss of interest at work, are more complex and require individual attention from the lecturers themselves.
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