The prospect of state funding for foundation programmes has heralded a new interest in such programmes in the Higher Education sector. Already the proposed funding frameworks appear to be influencing the nature of foundation curricula. Against this background Peninsula Technikon is currently implementing pilot foundation programmes in Mechanical and Civil Engineering. This pilot draws on an integrated, extended curriculum model emerging in the Engineering faculty, which uses a focus subject from the mainstream programme around which to build the foundation curriculum. This paper presents a multi‐level analysis of policy articulation regarding foundation programmes, from a mode 2 (Gibbons 1994) perspective which emphasises the need for learning to be applied in real‐life, problem‐solving contexts which transcend disciplinary boundaries and reflect issues of importance to society. It examines this policy and responses to it, at the macro level of state and the Higher Education (HE) sector, as well as the micro level of an individual HE institution and two academic departments. Finally suggestions are made as to why and how articulation from the micro to the macro level could enhance policy implementation.
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