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Higher education landscape in South Africa.

Higher education landscape in South Africa.

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Background: Big data analytics in education is a new concept that has the potential to change the decision-making landscape in South African Colleges. Higher institutions of learning, including Technical and Vocation Education Training (TVET) colleges like all other organisations, rely on data for their decision-making. These decisions affect the w...

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... post-apartheid South Africa, the former Department of Education was split into two different departments: Department of Basic Education and Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) was then established in 2018. Higher Institutions of Learning in South Africa are classified into four divisions as illustrated in Figure 1. ...

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BACKGROUND: Social media comprise technologies that facilitate learning in higher education institutions. However, many first-year students at tertiary education institutions are not taking advantage of social media for their learning because of environmental and personal factors related to the digital divide (DD OBJECTIVES: The objective of this research study was to investigate the impact of the DD factors on first-year students in using social media for learning in tertiary education institutions METHOD: A survey method was used to conduct the study. Social cognitive theory was employed as a theory underpinning this research. A questionnaire technique was used to collect data from 600 first-year students of a multi-campus university. Three hundred students came from each of the two campuses. Regression analysis was performed with the purpose of testing the hypotheses of the study RESULTS: The result of the analysis revealed a low computer access and usage but a high percentage of mobile devices usage by students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Personal factors were found to have an impact on the behaviour of students in adopting social media for their studies. The study also found that the prevalence of social media nullifies the lack of computer resources and connection to the Internet in disadvantaged areas CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the DD was more complex than hitherto envisaged. The study recommends that ownership of computers and devices connected to the Internet needs to be promoted, especially in disadvantaged areas