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This article is taken from the November 2001 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Review of a UCT Equity Development Programme

Matthew has just completed a review of the University of Cape Town’s Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) department’s Equity Development Programme (EDP), and is about to lead a 3-year S&T tracking project for The Transatlantic Philanthropies.

In consultation with the funder of the MCB EDP, it was decided that the review, whilst focussing primarily on MCB EDP, should also take into account the experiences of the Law Faculty’s EDP and the views of UCT’s senior management responsible for equity programmes across campus.

The objectives of the review were three-fold:

  • Review, as opposed to evaluate, the programme. It is still too early to assess whether the programme has succeeded or not, as no student has yet completed their studies or had an opportunity to seek an academic post.
  • Review the programme to ascertain whether it is on track, whether the participants believe it is likely to achieve its stated aims, and whether it is necessary to make any adjustments to the programme to ensure its success.
  • Gain some understanding of what makes a successful EDP and identify some of the pitfalls associated with these types of programmes.

An electronic questionnaire was distributed to staff and students involved in the MCB EDP. Staff were sent a slightly different questionnaire than students, although the questions were similar. In addition face-to-face interviews were conducted with senior management at UCT.

A systematic approach was used to evaluate the programme, examining the following key features:

Assessment Area

Sub-area

Planning

 
 

Objectives

 

Co-ordination

 

Student career plans

Implementation

 
 

Recruitment

 

Orientation

 

Supervision

 

Mentoring

 

Administration

 

Overseas study

 

Funding

Assessment

 
 

Monitoring & Evaluation

Although the findings of the report are confidential and therefore cannot be discussed here, it may interest readers to note the following:

The report will feed into a much larger project that S&T have been commissioned to do by Transatlantic Philanthropies to conduct a 3 year tracking and monitoring of the successes of EDPs at select South African universities.

Matthew has been invited to address a national conference on successful Human Resource Development strategies drawing on the lessons learnt from assessing equity development programmes.

 

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