Rural undergraduate university students’ learning challenges in Africa: case study of Nigeria and South Africa

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Learning challenges seem to persist in different ways in rural based universities. These challenges have led to increase in drop-out rates, as well as several menaces in the African society. Hence, this study explored the learning challenges among undergraduate students in rural universities in Africa. Relevant literatures which reported works that have previously been done on learning challenges experienced by undergraduates in rural African universities were reviewed. The methods adopted by the researchers were taken into cognizance. However, the research was limited to South Africa and Nigeria. The findings of the study show that undergraduates in the African rural universities experience common learning challenges which include: cognitive learning challenge, poor academic foundation, academic malpractice amongst academic staff and students, as well as lecturer-students’ relationship. These are caused by lack of facilities, students’ family socio-economic background, amongst others. The study therefore recommends that the necessary facilities and structures needed to facilitate teaching and learning practices should be provided. More lecturers should be recruited. Cordial student-lecturer relationships should be encouraged and promoted. In addition, policies that will ensure safety on campus, adoption and use of the most suitable language of instruction amongst others should be established. The study suggests the need for additional focus on the quality added to university education in developing African nations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-117
Number of pages29
JournalAfrican Identities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Developing African nations
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • learning challenges
  • rural undergraduate university students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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