n South African Journal of Higher Education - The value of a computerised learner information database system to foster development and accountability through information sharing

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The diversity of learners at South African universities offers a challenge to educators to identify their development needs and to tailor the facilitation of learning experiences accordingly. The University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) has responded to this challenge by establishing an Admissions and Placement Assessment Programme (APAP) to assess the readiness levels of all incoming learners using an assessment battery. The creation of a computerised database has made it possible to provide faculties with information on the academic readiness of learners and the retention rates of high-risk learners, to track the academic progress of learners, and to stimulate institutional research and policy-making. The database has proved to be central in the success of the development-focused APAP. This article will describe the structure and functioning of such a database within an admissions testing programme and show how this could serve as a model to foster development and accountability through information sharing.

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