Compiled by: Xena Cupido, Nelia Frade, Thaiurie Govender, Edgar Tendai Samkange & Subethra Pather

The guide is primarily aimed at a diverse group of individuals who are responsible for the conceptualization, coordination and implementation of peer support activities at institutions of higher education. In line with this, the guide is not a how-to or a set of findings but rather an attempt to capture some current peer support practices in higher education in South Africa in order to raise the profile and expectations of peer support practices in its journey towards transforming the experience and outputs of the higher education system.

The Guide is intended for individuals in higher education who are involved in peer support initiatives to enhance student retention and success. The aim of this Guide is to create a working resource focused on peer support to stimulate reflection, and dialogue in order to develop responsive strategies to foster student engagement and learning. The range of case studies we have included in this guide provide rich snapshots of selected innovative interventions and practices, knowing that others are also operative daily in South African HEIs. It also provides some breadth and depth to our insights into the working practices of colleagues from the ten universities that shared their peer support practices in the guide. The guide will also highlight theoretical and pedagogical frameworks which underpin peer support practices. In addition, the collection of case studies used provides a rich snapshot of selected innovative interventions and practices, knowing that others are also operative daily in South African HEIs. This affords the reader an opportunity to learn about a number of peer support initiatives that have developed nationally, in order to reflect strategically upon them and to consider implementing them in their own institutions. As such, the Guide may be utilised as a reference to add value to the design, implementation and administration of peer support initiatives.

The objectives of this Guide is:

  • To contextualise peer support initiatives in Higher Education
  • To provide case studies from some South African Higher Education Institutions as examples of current peer support initiatives
  • To create dialogue and stimulate reflections around peer support initiatives in South Africa
  • To propose a model in re-imagining peer support initiatives in 4IR

Finally, the structure and coverage of the guide was collectively developed, honed, and pared, with a view to advocacy, information sharing and newcomer orientation. We have therefore signposted it strongly, so that readers can dip in and out of it, searching out areas that are of relevance for their individual institutional context.

A special thank you to the following Academic Developers from institutions across South Africa for sharing case studies of their peer support practices to this guide:

  1. Shona Lombard – Stellenbosch University
  2. Nosisana Mkonto – The Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  3. Moshia Agnes Mohale – University of Limpopo
  4. Arthi Ramrung – Mangosuthu University of Technology
  5. Lutasha Ndesi, Nuraan Davids-Latief, Deidre Schippers & Venicia McGhie – University of the Western Cape
  6. Amaal Abrahams – University of Cape Town
  7. Danie de Klerk – University of Witwatersrand
  8. Sabelo Peter – Walter Sisulu University
  9. Nadia Bernard – Tshwane University of Technology

Thanks also to Rieta Ganas for her continued support as the HELTASA CLC (Collaborative Learning Community) convenor.

The Guide Book will be available in the first quarter of next year 2021.