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Cape Town - Education experts are concerned about the credibility of the 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate, following last week’s release of the matric results.

Dr Felicity Coughlan, director of the Independent Institute of Education, said the notion that a 30% pass mark in high school would hamper a student’s ability to pass at university did not hold water as succeeding at university level involved a series of other requirements and abilities.

“This is a myth that should not be spreading. You would not get into university with 30%."

"It is critical to understand the different kinds of passes in the NSC. The one that gives you degree entry is in fact pretty much as stringent (on paper) as the old requirements were."

"Students struggle for many reasons in first year and some of those reasons include not being prepared at school for the kind of work higher education requires. Even students who did really well at school sometimes struggle," she said.

Emeritus Professor Ian Scott, of the Centre for Higher Education Development at UCT, also said some of the problems students face during their first year at university were as a result of not being adequately prepared.

“What we do know very clearly is that there is a very big dropout rate, whether it is from failure or another undetermined reason, in many first-year courses.

"Between 25 to 30% in some cases, so it is evident that there is a mismatch with what knowledge many of the students come in with and what the institution requires of them."

Weekend Argus