Learner Inclinations to Study Computer Science or Information Systems at Tertiary Level

C Jacobs, DA Sewry


After the so‐called “dot‐com crash” of the Internet in the early 2000s, tertiary level student enrolments in IT‐related
subjects began to experience a significant decline both in international countries and South Africa. The paper replicates
research done in the Western Cape, South Africa, by Seymour et al. (2005) [20], in which grade 12 learner inclinations to study
Computer Science (CS) and Information Systems (IS) at tertiary level were analysed and underlying factors affecting their
interest in the subjects were determined. The study analyses the “misguided” perceptions that learners and students have of
these subjects; the implications of the decline in enrolments on students, educational sectors and industry; and determines a set
of underlying factors that influence learners in their attitudes toward further degrees in IT, starting from the secondary level of
The research compares South African Eastern Cape learner perceptions with those from the Western Cape study and establishes
three to four years later, that the reasons behind the decline in IT enrolments are still influenced by an underlying demographic
and digital divide.


Enrolment; ICT-related subjects;

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18489/sacj.v44i0.25

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