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Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT)

Student Access & Support

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Ms Kholeka Shangase
031 373 2904

Unit members:

The projects and initiatives of this unit revolve around student development. In order to ensure that a holistic approach to student support is maintained, the unit focuses on identifying academic barriers to learning which could be psycho-social, academic or cultural. The unit assists in designing interventions that can address these barriers. The projects in this unit range from direct student support to the support of tutors and lecturers.

Student Testing

The access project focuses on assisting academic Departments with the development and implementation of entrance requirements and the correct selection and/ or placement of students into academic programmes. Currently the instrument used is the Standardised Assessment Test for Access and Placement (SATAP) that is divided into four tests; Language, Mathematics, Numeracy and Science. The project team is involved in the following activities relating to SATAP:

  • the development of these tests (in conjunction with test developers from other higher education institutions nationally);
  • the administration of the tests at DUT,
  • marking, analysis of results and research on what the results of the tests tell us about student potential, areas requiring intervention.

Departments use these tests together with other discipline-specific selection placement instruments. The chosen test may also only be used as a diagnostic tool to assess the academic competence of students already registered. These results can be used to inform the curriculum design and learning and teaching interventions in the respective academic programmes. Departments are requested to firstly view the test for suitability before deciding on its use. The ultimate decision on the selection of students lies with academic Departments concerned.

The project team is also currently involved with the development and piloting of the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) which is a HESA initiative being managed by the University of Cape Town (UCT). There are two tests available under the NBTs; an Academic Literacy Test that includes quantitative literacy and a Mathematics Test.

Contact: Shoba Rathilal
031 373 2771

Extended Curriculum Programmes

The Department of Education (DoHET) has made available funds for Extended Curriculum Programmes (ECPs) that are aimed at improving throughput and ensuring access and success. ECPs are currently offered in most faculties. The programme is intended primarily for students who meet the requirements for entrance but need some academic support to ensure success. Funding is allocated by the DoHET based on proposals submitted in three year cycles. DoHET have set criteria by which they allocate the funds. Currently there are three models that can be subscribed to.

Extended programme students are ultimately the responsibility of the academic Department in which the student is registered. The placement of students within the programme is done by using complimentary access tools such as entrance tests, interviews or questionnaires, etc. Each programme has an ECP co-ordinator. The central co-ordination of ECP is done in CELT.

Contact: Shubnam Rambharos
031 373 2189

Prof Ian Scott (University of Cape Town) facilitates a 
workshop for ECP Staff (above left) on Implications of student 
performance patterns for development in South Africa: Key choices for 
Universities of Technologies.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Co-ordination

CELT aims to implement RPL as a first-stop-office for all DUT applications. The RPL provisions, stipulations and conditions as outlined in the senate-approved RPL Policy will be adhered to. The philosophical approach to RPL shall be transformational and developmental within the context of access and redress.

The RPL office in CELT is currently instituting systems and formalising administrative logistics to ensure application forms are explicit and that approval through departments, faculty offices and Senate sub-committees follows a structured template of processes. Finally and most importantly, a series of awareness workshops are rolled out across DUT academic community.

Contact: Sipho Zulu
031 373 2386

Tutor Training and Development

The Tutor Training and Development Programme is one of CELT‟s strategies of addressing learning, teaching and assessment issues which have a direct bearing on student progression and success rates.

The Tutor Training and Development Programme will attempt to tackle the issue of student success by training and developing effective tutors and will ensure that:

  • students are afforded the opportunity to engage with subject content;
  • monitoring the impact on learning, teaching and assessment;
  • encouraging ongoing curriculum development and enrichment, taking feedback from tutors and learners into consideration;
  • empowering DUT postgraduate students by providing them with opportunities to mentor undergraduate students, especially first-year students.

Contact: Sipho Zulu
031 373 2386


Residence Educational Programme

The project is designed to assist first-year students to deal with various factors of the university environment which may impede their academic success. Through this project and other related initiatives, the university acknowledges its obligation to provide the necessary guidance to students who are entering tertiary education for the first time and who, as a result, need support and empowerment which goes beyond the conventional lecturing, tutorials and practical work that form part of the academic programmes offered by the university. There is a sense in which this project provides ongoing orientation to first year students who need to adapt to the various aspects of the university‟s organisational culture in order to succeed in their studies. The central aims of this project are:
to alert students to the interconnections between their personal and their academic lives and;
to encourage students to take responsibility for their own personal development and intellectual growth.

Contact: Kholeka Shangase
031 373 2904

First year ECP students doing their Community
Engagement Project

Unit Members

Academic Development Officers

Ms Shubnam Rambharos
Ms Shoba Rathilal
Mr Sipho Zulu
Mr Lawrence Oliver
Residence Education Programme (REP) Coordinator
Tel: 031 373 2091
Mr Jerome Thusi
FET Project Administrator
Tel: 031 373 2688

Administrative Assistant

Ms Sibongile Madi