Experiences of Student Affairs Professionals in Facilitating Co-Curricular Leadership Development Programmes in South African Universities
Despite the important role that student affairs practitioners play in supporting
universities to produce well-rounded graduates, few studies have been
conducted on their lived experiences. This article examines the challenges
confronted by these professionals in interacting with student leaders
and facilitating leadership programmes in South African universities. A
qualitative methodology was adopted and semi-structured interviews were
conducted with 20 student affairs practitioners responsible for facilitating
student leadership development programmes. A focus group discussion
was also held with six student affairs experts. The findings point to a lack
of seamlessness in the structure, staffing, and operation of these programmes,
as well as a lack of university support to professionalise student affairs.
Furthermore, student leadership development programmes were
found to lack proper theoretical grounding.
Key words: Student leadership development programmes, students,
student affairs professionals
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