South African Journal of Higher Education

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The 'added value' of a foundation programme

LA Wood, P Lithauer


This article will discuss the findings from an analysis of focus group interviews held with former Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Foundation Programme students, in which they were asked to elaborate on their experience of the foundation programme. The data analysis revealed that the foundation programme has a far-reaching effect on all aspects of the students' lives and not only on their academic performance. Results from a longitudinal study show that students who complete a foundation year do tend to perform better in later degree studies than directly admitted students with similar academic profiles. However, this research has highlighted the fact that the students themselves place a high value on the non-academic benefits of the course. The link between academic and life skills development will be explored and recommendations emanating from the findings will be made for the future design of foundation programmes.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 19(5) 2005: 1002-1019
AJOL African Journals Online