Making Sense of the Delivery of Non-Academic Student Support Services at Kyambogo University

  • Agnes Nakimuli Makerere University
Keywords: Making Sense, Staff, and Non-Academic Student Support Services
Share Article:


The study explored how staff make sense of the delivery of non-academic student support services at Kyambogo University. Acquiring this deeper understanding was crucial because when staff make sense of their work, they are able to contribute to the fulfilment of the university’s objectives and are more driven to work for the good of others. When they see how their effort is having an impact and value on students, it also enables them to feel satisfied with their work. The study was based on semi-structured interviews with 11 staff who deliver non-academic student support services at Kyambogo University. The findings showed that staff made sense of their work when it benefited others than themselves. When the delivery of the services contributed to the creation of meaning, and when it resulted in their personal satisfaction, they were motivated to work more effectively and efficiently in order to support the success of all university stakeholders. The paper recommends that since the staff’s work aims to serve others’ needs and aspirations, management at Kyambogo University should provide assistance to staff in order to preserve the spirit of service by fostering a culture of trust and a safe psychological environment that motivates staff and secure their involvement, commitment, and dedication. Further, the delivery of the services leads to staff satisfaction when it satisfies the beneficiaries; hence, management should assist staff in achieving personal satisfaction since it motivates them to work by facilitating them in the form of workshops and conferences in order to build their capacity in the field


Download data is not yet available.


Amante, M. P., Gabon, R. H. & Boller, L. B. (2021) Adequacy and Effectiveness of Student Affairs and Services Programs in Samar State University. Journal of Academic Research, 5(3)

Aquino, J. L. R., & Cabrera, F. R. (2020). Students perception of the student services program. The Journal of Social and Allied Health Sciences, 1(1), 1–16.

Ariani, D. W. (2015). Relationship with Supervisor and Co-Workers, Psychological Condition and Employee Engagement in the Workplace. Journal of Business and Management, 4(3), 34–47.

Bailey, C., & Madden, A. (2016). What Makes work meaningful - Or meaningless. MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(4), 53–61.

Brodie, S., Campbell, P., Fricke, G. D., Leggett, K., & Manning, N. (2021). Thriving in Student Affairs Professionals: An Exploration of Supporting Constructs. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 288.

Castiello-Gutiérrez, S., Hoye, K. A. R., García, H. A., & McNaughtan, J. (2021). Educators, not bureaucrats: how managerial professionals at international student services centers engage in job crafting and create meaning in their work. Studies in Higher Education, 46(11), 2167– 2182.

Crabtree, R. M., Briggs, P., & Woratschek, H. (2021). Student engagement and barriers to implementation: the view of professional and academic staff. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 25(4), 144–150.

Evangelista, L. D. (2021). Importance, engagement and satisfaction in academic, Co-curricular experiences and other student services of selected college students. Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied and Basic Subjects, 1(August), 20–26.

Ganon-shilon, S., & Schechter, C. (2017). Making sense of school leaders’ sense-making. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 45(4), 682–698.

Kramer, M. W. (2017). Sense-making. The International Encyclopedia of Organisational Communication.

Kudesia, R. S. (2017). Organisational sense-making. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology, 1– 47.

Naifeh, Z. (2019). Social connections matter: A look into new student affairs professional wellness and atrition intentions. The Journal of Campus Activities Practice and Scholarship, 1(2), 32–40.

Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (4th ed.). Thousand oaks.

Roberts, J. (2018). Professional staff contributions to student retention and success in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 40(2), 140–153.

Rozikin, M., Muttaqin, A., Pratama, B. I., Putra, E., Kumalasari, K. P., Sugiastuti, R. H., & Ningsih, D. N.C. (2020). Evaluation of Student Affairs Services in Higher Education in East Java. Journal of Education and E- Learning Research, 7(1) 49-55 10.20448/journal.509.2020.71.49.55

Ryttberg, M., & Geschwind, L. (2017). Professional support staff at higher education institutions in Sweden: roles and success factors for the job. Tertiary Education and Management, 23(4)

Sandberg, J., & Tsoukas, H. (2015). Making sense of the sense-making perspective: Its constituents, limitations, and opportunities for further development. Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 36(6–32).

Seifert, T. A., Perozzi, B., & Li, W. (2022). Sense of Accomplishment: A Global Experience in Student Affairs and Services. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 1–13.

Van Straaten, L., Du Plessis, A., & Van Tonder, S. P. (2016). Enhancing the well-being of support services staff in higher education: The power of appreciation. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology. 42(1) 1-10.

Van Wingerden, J., & Poell, R. F. (2018). Meaningful work and resilience among teachers: The mediating role of work engagement and job crafting. PLoS ONE, 14(9), 1– 13.

Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K. M., Obstfeld, D., (2005). Organizing and the process of sense-making. Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, 16(4), 409–421.

Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study Research Design and Methods (2nd ed.). Sage.

14 September, 2023
How to Cite
Nakimuli, A. (2023). Making Sense of the Delivery of Non-Academic Student Support Services at Kyambogo University. East African Journal of Education Studies, 6(3), 8-17.