Students from South Africa's public school system battle to cope with the rigorous demands of any university degree without genuine, committed support.
How we calculate university drop-out rates must be amended to reflect the changing cohort of university students, who often dip in and out of study and take longer to complete their degree.
Lower completion rates for rural and remote universities are not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the educational experience they provide, but reflect the demographics of their students.
Students feel they are not getting the support they need, despite research showing that the relationships students have with their lecturers can have a big influence over retention rates.
Coming to understand students' individual stories allows lecturers to guide, mentor and support them.
Bill Shorten has said he wants to reduce the number of uni students dropping out. Here's one way to do it.