Academic advising plays a critical role in improving the success rate of students, and in advancing social justice.

This was the message from Professor Francois Strydom (left), Senior Director: Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of the Free State (UFS) when addressing attendees at the Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) programme Engage 10 event last Monday.

Academic advising is a “way to connect students to the campus and help them feel that someone is looking out for them” – George Kuh (2005)

“Student success in the South African context – and especially the sub-Saharan setting – is incredibly important. The return on investment of tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa is higher than in any other country on the planet, including high income countries. Our degrees are literally tools of greater equality; it is a way for students to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. It positions our universities as important generators of greater equality in our country. A university degree is one of the most powerful ways to change the economic prospects of students, their families, and communities,” he expounded.

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