The purpose of this evaluative study is an attempt to understand the bridging programme by drawing on the work of Wadsworth and to prove that a place still exists for bridging programmes within the University of Johannesburg and the higher education sector in South Africa.
The research study is both quantitative and qualitative in nature. An interpretative naturalistic approach is used to understand the thinking and experiences of the students in the bridging programme.
This study reveals, first that a causal relationship exists between the length of the bridging programme and how long students take to successfully complete the national diploma in engineering. Second, that bridging programmes can contribute to the success of engineering students who want to successfully complete their engineering studies within the designated timespan. Third, that, if designated staff are utilized in the teaching of the bridging programmes, students are able to receive the necessary support which enables them to successfully complete the national diploma in engineering.
This research reveals that bridging programmes, implemented over an extended period, are valuable because they allow student access to higher education and lay a solid foundation by equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in mainstream diplomas such as the national diploma in engineering. These programmes put into practice the shift of policy emphasis from “access” to “success”, which has implications not only for the University of Johannesburg but also for the higher education sector in South Africa.
Machika, P. (2007), "Access to success: The value of bridging programmes in engineering at the University of Johannesburg", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 120-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/17260530710833176Download as .RIS
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