Lived experiences of stressors and problems of higher education students on teacher education course in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, 2019

Nyashanu, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-9231-0393, Nuwematsiko, R., Nyashanu, W. and Jidong, D.E. ORCID: 0000-0001-5034-0335, 2020. Lived experiences of stressors and problems of higher education students on teacher education course in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, 2019. Pan African Medical Journal, 36: 289. ISSN 1937-8688

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Introduction: there is increasing levels of stressors and hardship among higher education students especially in low and middle income countries. Higher education institutions have an important role to play in the provision of robust and comprehensive support for students who experience stressors and hardship. Research and action in this area has however not been prioritized by the institutions in Zimbabwe. This study examined students´ expression of their experience with stressors and problems of studying in higher education in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.

Methods: the study employed a qualitative approach using the phenomenology approach. Three institutions of higher education in the eastern border highlands of Zimbabwe were considered. Four focus group discussions were conducted with eight participants in each group. A one-to-one semi-structured interview with eight individual participants was also conducted to further examine the issues raised in the focus groups. Data were analyzed thematically using the Silences Framework theoretical model.

Results: five overarching themes emerged from the analysis: (i) the stress of completing assessments without adequate learning materials. (ii) Unfair placement workload results into poor assessment outcomes. (iii) College-life is more difficult due to financial constraints. (iv) Marital problems interfering with college work: there is no mental health service available. (v) Enduring pains of bereavement with no emotional support or helpline.

Conclusion: the study recommends the need to develop an inter-ministerial mental health strategy for institutions of higher learning with the view of implementing policies that address students suffering in Zimbabwean HE institutions.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Pan African Medical Journal
Creators: Nyashanu, M., Nuwematsiko, R., Nyashanu, W. and Jidong, D.E.
Publisher: African Field Epidemiology Network
Date: 17 August 2020
Volume: 36
ISSN: 1937-8688
Rights: © Mathew Nyashanu et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 17 Aug 2020 15:31
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:13

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