n South African Journal of Higher Education - Transformational access : the Upward Bound Programme as a possibility for promoting access to Higher Education

Volume 21, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The Upward Bound Programme (UBP) was a model of intervention to redress access of previously disadvantaged students to higher education. Upward bound was conceptualised on the assumption that by exposing school learners to university life and giving them additional academic tuition, their chances of accessing university education will be enhanced. In this article we offer an understanding of the success of such an intervention. We argue that gaining access into higher education goes beyond attaining appropriate pass rates. Data generated through a tracer study project was used to explore the workings of the UBP as a useful tool for creating conditions of hope and possibility. Success and access, however, are shaped by a range of contextual and personal forces that make the educational transformational agenda of the country a challenging responsibility. This article alludes to these challenges through an understanding and critique of the Upward Bound Programme.

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