The benefits of university extension education to its stakeholders and possible improvements
The purpose of the study was to investigate the benefits of university extension education to its stakeholders and possible improvements. The objectives were to establish the benefits to the graduates, students and members of staff. A mixed method design was employed in which questionnaires and an interview guide ware used to collect data from a sample of 231 respondents. The respondents consisted of 100 students, 100 graduates, 30 part-time tutors and one resident lecturer. The findings showed that graduates, students, tutors and the resident lecturer benefited from participating in university extension education including the (1) acquisition of knowledge; (2) employment both in the formal and informal sector; (3) income acquisition and increased earnings; (4) ability to meet family responsibilities; (5) upgrading of qualifications; (6) opportunity to study while working; (7) involved in the cheapest form of education; (8) to go for further studies; (9) chance to change career or receive promotion; (10) change of attitude and gain of recognition and respect from society which lead to improved self-esteem. Possible improvements to university extension education included the need to: (1) set up libraries and computer labs; (2) building and buying infrastructure; (3) improved communication by administration; (4) employ qualified tutors; (5) market university extension education programmes; (6) formation of a student’s union; (7) upgrade diploma programmes to degree and run as a directorate; (8) establish recognition of courses being offered; (9) provision of uniform teaching and learning materials; and (10) improve funding and employ more workers in the provinces. In view of these findings, the university management should consider improving the management of university extension education by reforming the unit into a directorate, improve the remuneration of tutors and providing libraries and computer laboratories in all the Provincial Centres of the University.