The aim of this study was to identify whether social support, academic fit, the
psychological conditions of meaningfulness and availability, and engagement can
predict first-year students’ intention to stay on at an educational institution. A quantitative,
cross-sectional design was used to achieve the specific research objectives, making use
of a convenience sample (N = 304). The measuring instruments were based on the
Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Psychological Conditions Scale,
the Academic Fit Scale, the Work Engagement Scale, and the Intention to Leave Scale.
The results indicated that social support had direct and indirect effects (via academic
fit) on students’ intention to stay, as did academic fit, the psychological conditions of
meaningfulness and availability, and engagement.
The findings of the study emphasise the importance of helping students to fit into the
academic environment; choose the right career; and receive sufficient social support to
ensure that they stay on at an academic institution and complete their studies