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Extended curriculum programme

The Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) is a mechanism supported by the national Department of Higher Education and Training, which aims to improve graduation and throughput rates of students in South African Universities. Students in the ECP attend the same lectures as the other students for their registered subjects, but initially take a lighter academic load and have additional academic support. The support takes the form of augmented lectures, practicals and field-trips; as well as various key skills needed for success at university level.

Thus, for ECP students, the first year is spread over two years, after which they proceed with the normal programme. Although this means that the minimum time for completion is extended by one year, the students are more assured of success and, in our experience, generally graduate at the same time with the majority of their ‘mainstream’ counterparts who started off with a full academic load. All students get the same Diploma, with the same wording, regardless of whether they did the ECP or the ‘mainstream’ programme.

Students are placed onto the ECP based on performance in National Benchmark Tests or other indicators of preparedness for university study.

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