HAYEF: Journal of Education
Research Articles

Reinventing Student–Teacher Relationship in Higher Education Institutions of Developing Nations: Lessons From the University of the Free State


Postdoctoral fellowship at Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning [DIRAP] University of the Free State, South Africa

HAYEF: Journal of Education 2023; 20: 119-127
DOI: 10.5152/hayef.2023.44
Read: 452 Downloads: 179 Published: 01 May 2023

This quantitative study shows the students’ perception and expectations regarding the lecturer’s role in maintaining pedagogical relations at the higher institution level of developing nations. The roles were framed within four major themes namely students’ academic development, social relationships, respect and trust and ethics of care. The study was motivated given (1) the recent expansion and emphasis on e-learning due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic; (2) the impression that students often abandon their role and shift the onus to the lecturer in terms of sustaining and maintaining pedagogical relations; and (3) the fact that some lecturers are likely to prioritize (or choose) professionalism as a replacement for pedagogical relations given reasons such as class size, fear of contempt, and impartiality. The finding confirms that students relegate the responsibility (or the obligation) of driving the pedagogical relations to the lecturers. Students also expect the lecturer to always be approachable and attentive to students’ morals, students’ academic goals, teaching and learning, and student’s personal development and well-being. The study recommends that the students should be respectful, teachable, and disciplined, whilst the pedagogical teaching and learning training for the lecturers should incorporate themes on maintaining student–teacher relationships to help the lecturers to develop good teaching skills and philosophy. It further recommends that large-size classes (which often constitute economic modules for schools in developing nations) be reduced, whilst the culture of caring be encouraged amongst staff, as well as mainstreaming teaching philosophies that are based on “humane” professionalism. The study concludes that efforts should be concerted to encourage students to play their part in maintaining and promoting good pedagogical relations at institutions of higher learning.

Cite this article as: Okoye, F. (2023). Reinventing student–teacher relationship in higher education institutions of developing nations: Lessons from the university of the free state. HAYEF: Journal of Education, 20(2), 119-127.

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