Perceptions of Undergraduate Students to Practical Agriculture Experience at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa
The study examined perceptions of final year students of agriculture at the University of Fort Hare to practical agricultural experience. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to obtain data from 278 which were analysed, using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study reveals that more than half (55.0%) had favourable perceptions of practical agriculture experience (PAE). However, only about half (51.1%) expressed a high level of satisfaction. The majority (61.9%) were in favour of on-the-farm internships. There was a significant relationship between respondents’ perceptions regarding improved performance (r = 0.276), general attitude to PAE (r = 0.438) and overall satisfaction with the PAE programme. Based on its findings, this study has implications for the evaluation process of the programme and suggests that the design of the PAE should center around on-farm activities based on a specific number of weeks for internships on commercial farms. This will provide the real-life experiential learning that could stimulate students to venture into practical farming post-graduation.
Key words: Curriculum, Academic performance, training, learning, skills, employability.