South African Journal of Higher Education

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Measuring postgraduate cohort throughput: A case study

P Watson


The need to improve the success rate of students in South African universities is widely regarded as a national priority. Measuring this success is, however, more difficult. Although the NPHE sets some benchmarks for system performance, there is currently no indicator set for longitudinal student performance. This article reports on a study done into postgraduate throughput performance at one institution. The article examines the terminology adopted in the study, and reports general trends found in the data. The question of the length of time to graduation that should be examined when studying throughput data is examined, and the throughput ‘norms' per degree-type, for this institution during the time period studied are reported. It is hoped that publication of this case study will contribute to debates regarding the development of sector understandings of the topic.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 22 (3) 2008: pp. 725-738
AJOL African Journals Online