In this study Institutional Student learning Support Services refers specifically to Tutoring, Mentoring and Supplemental Instruction services offered by universities in South Africa. Students’ outcomes refer to students’ university transition, retention, engagement and academic success.

Institutional student learning support services is intended to assist students to successfully transition into their new learning environments with the aim of enhancing retention and academic success. This national study will investigate the role of institutional student learning support services in achieving the intended outcome. The study will focus on capturing institutional practices, systems, strategies and its impact on student outcomes.

The project will scope local research literature on the project theme from the various universities in South Africa. Best evidence synthesis approach (Slavin, 1986) will be used to get an understanding of Institutional support services practices, strategies and systems impacting on student outcomes. Research literature sort will deal specifically with the aim of the research. In this regard the cases and relevant studies chosen would be purposively selected to represent the varying HEls in SA.

The study is framed by Chickering & Gamson ‘s ( 1991) seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education together with Tinto & Pusser’s (2006) basic structure of an institutional model of effective institutional action for student success. The outcome of the study is twofold to gain a better understanding of Institutional actions by student support services to effectively supporting student outcomes. Secondly to identify South African best practices with regard to institutional student learning support services.