In South African Higher Education, interest in First Year transitions has grown rapidly over the past decade. National developments have included various local FYE or FYE related initiatives and one national FYE conference hosted by the University of Stellenbosch during 2006. No formal National structure was available and as a result FYE (and related) efforts continued to be localised with no national coherence.
During 2011 the first steps were taken to develop a national FYE discussion group via the formation of a First Year Success special interest group under the auspices of the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA).
This group met annually and a follow up FYE conference was hosted at UJ during 2013. The South African National Department of Higher Education and Training created an opportunity to apply for collaborative teaching innovation grants and a grant application involving a number of South African institutions was submitted. The SANRC grant application was successful and as a result the SANRC was created during the last quarter of 2014.