The Academic Development Programme (ADP) has its roots in the Academic Support Programme which during the 1980s facilitated access and offered academic and psychosocial support to students entering UCT despite repressive Apartheid legislation. An important belief underpinning the work of ADP through the decades has been that students experience difficulties at university not because they themselves are deficient, but because of major structural problems and inequalities that persist in South African educational systems and society at large.
In 2017 ADP retains its focus on providing access to higher education and strengthening students’ chances of success. Our preferred way of providing educational support is to work in close partnership with the faculties and to embed developmental materials and activities in credit-bearing courses and carefully constructed curricula. We also provide educational support to postgraduate students and collaborate with colleagues in other departments or faculties.
Since the 1980s ADP has grown into a large academic department numbering 48 academics and 12 administrative staff members. Our academics come from a wide variety of academic disciplines and are located in:
- units that are based in and function from within the faculties
- two central units that work across the faculties, providing language and numerical support
- a central ADP office that coordinates the department’s activities across campus.
Our main aim is to support students to become academically successful and to feel socially supported at University, and we do this by working in a number of areas:
- Undergraduate teaching
- Postgraduate teaching and support
- The Upper Campus Writing Centre and the Faculty of Health Sciences Writing Lab
- Contributing to mentorship programmes
- Collaborating with other CHED departments and UCT educational initiatives beyond CHED
- Working in Teaching and Learning partnerships with academics in other faculties
- Higher Education policy development and implementation