The purpose of this study was to explore whether, and how, university lecturers act as key agents of change and transformational leaders. The study determined that lecturers operationalise a capability set (essentially comprised of knowledge, skills, experience and control over their environment) into functionings to enable student academic success, regardless of possible constraints. The successful navigation of constraints to lecturers’ initiatives to provide support is indicative of lecturer agency.
The focus was on intervention or support strategies in teaching and learning that enabled students’ academic success. Qualitative data for this case study were collected through semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of science, mathematics and education lecturers at a university in Gauteng. The conceptual framework draws on the capability approach, which conceptualises human development and well-being in relation to human agency.
The study found that successful strategies can be sustainable and transferable to expand opportunities for academic success. The findings of this study confirm that lecturers act agentically by employing strategies that enable student academic success at university.