Siyaphambili awarded a Spencer Foundation Research Grant

Image: Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash.

The Siyaphambili research group has been awarded a research grant by the Spencer Foundation to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis on inequalities in the South African tertiary education sector. The project aims to deepen the understanding of inequalities within and across tertiary education institutions in South Africa by examining measures of student-body household and community characteristics, and what these mean for designing remote learning and teaching solutions in the future. Additionally, the impact of remote learning on student outcomes will be investigated, as well as how the move to remote learning may have shifted the demographic composition of students applying to and enrolling in tertiary institutions.

As an introductory analysis to the data on university and college students’ access to remote learning resources across local municipalities, we construct a remote learning indicator measuring the proportion of households in each municipality with access to electricity, a stable internet connection and a computer/tablet in the home. The figure shows that more than 50% of university and college students reside in municipalities where less than 10% of households have access to all three resources. Read the full report here.

Percentage of students by share of households in their home municipality with access to electricity, internet and a computer or laptop in their home (access to all remote learning resources)

Data: Community Survey 2016 (StatsSA), HEMIS 2018, TVETMIS 2019. Community survey data are weighted using household-level post-stratification weights. Sample: N=1 043 646 (University); N=648 498 (Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)).