Students’ perceptions about the relevance of the Third Trimester Field Practical Programme of the University for Development Studies.
The general objective of the study is to find out students’ perception towards the Field Practical Programme (FPP) and assess the relevance of the programme in the context of students’ area of study. The non-probability sampling technique (purposive) was used to select participants since these students constituted the core information rich group in the study. Questionnaires were the main instrument used in the study because of the literate nature of the participants. The data collected were analysed using frequencies and percentages. However, the open ended responses were grouped according to themes. The study found that participants perceived the FPP as an experience that every student needs to go through. Since the experience acquired through the FPP in the community was different from their earlier thinking about the communities. It was also realised that orientation was given to participants prior to the FPP and this helped them to make necessary adjustments. The experiences participants gained during the FPP were relevant and participants indicated the manner by which the gained experiences were relevant to their programmes of study. It was recommended that university authorities should make the FPP an interesting experience that students will be willing to undertake since many students found it difficult staying outside the comfort of their homes. Selection of the communities should be voluntary. It is also recommended that assessment procedures in the FPP should include oral presentation and sampling views of the community members since this will make students’ contributions to the community feasible and authentic.