South African Journal of Higher Education

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A critical review of the educational philosophies underpinning Science and Engineering foundation programmes

B Kloot, JM Case, D Marshall


More than a decade prior to the official dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, a number of universities launched foundation programmes to assist disadvantaged students. This article focuses on science and engineering foundation programmes, locating them
within their political and institutional context and then tracing the evolution of their
educational philosophy. But foundation programmes only represent one strategy for
dealing with educational disadvantage. It is therefore compared to an alternative model
explored in the early 1990s which emphasised the ‘infusion\' of academic development
principles into the mainstream. This provides a backdrop for considering the educational
effectiveness of the foundation programmes that have recently proliferated as a result of
the Department of Education\'s latest funding strategy.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 22 (4) 2008: pp. 799-816
AJOL African Journals Online