As one of two new universities in South Africa, and as the first University with its home in Mpumalanga, the provision of access to students is of paramount importance to us. However, the provision of access without the necessary support to ensure success is of little value, and the University is dealing with these two related issues in the following ways.
UMP is a comprehensive University and this allows us to offer the full range of qualifications from Higher certificate to Doctoral degree, and from Diploma to Bachelor’s degree. The different entry level qualifications (Higher Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor’s degree) have different minimum entry requirements and thus provide access for students with different school leaving results and different academic interests.
The University has developed its qualifications to facilitate articulation, and students who start with a Higher Certificate or in the Diploma stream, are able to articulate to the Bachelor’s stream and on to postgraduate studies.
The recognition of prior learning (RPL) is used where appropriate for access into a qualification where an applicant does not meet the minimum entrance requirements but has other relevant experience.
A number of quite different factors can affect success at university and at UMP, these are addressed in a system-wide and co-ordinate manner as follows:
- First time entering students are provided with an orientation week and first year experience that is designed to help them bridge the gap between school and university. This includes both workshops and seminars, and the provision of mentors.
- Particular attention is paid to the curriculum in its widest sense to ensure that what is taught and how and by whom does not create barriers to learning for any student.
- The University uses Moodle as its Learning Management System and this caters for students who learn in different ways and at different paces, and also enriches the content.
- The staff in the Library and Information Services Division provide support for undergraduate and postgraduate students with information literacy.
- Focused support is available in the key areas of digital and academic literacy.
- Psycho-social support is available from the student counselor and medical advice and treatment from the Professional Nurse.
- The Academic Support Services Division provides training for all academic staff so as to ensure that our staff are familiar with and able to implement the latest ideas in teaching and learning. Full details of this can be seen on the Academic Support Services Division page.