n South African Journal of Higher Education - Facilitating adjustment to higher education : towards enhancing academic functioning in an Academic Development Programme




Several studies have emphasised the importance of addressing social and emotional factors in facilitating adjustment to tertiary education. This article describes the Skills for Success in Science programme at the University of Cape Town. The broad aims were life skills development and improved adjustment which are assumed to underpin academic performance. Weekly small group sessions were held which addressed several areas, namely adjustment, group work and co-operative learning, coping and stress management, resources on campus, assertiveness and communications, time management, study skills and examination competence. The intervention was experiential and participative, and while not compulsory, attendance was very good. Evaluation via self-report questionnaires using standardised psychological scales as well as focus groups provided positive feedback from students who described it as a 'must' for all first year science students. The article supports the notion that student development should be located within their daily experience at universities.


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