oa African Journal of Health Professions Education - Processes in widening access to undergraduate allied health sciences education in South Africa

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5127



The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the processes followed in initiating and managing widening access to allied health sciences education at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. In response to national higher education policy imperatives in South Africa and in anticipation of the first cohort of Outcome Based Education (OBE) school leavers entering tertiary education, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the university launched an extensive intra- and cross-programme transformation project in 2004. The project afforded four undergraduate professional programmes, namely audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy, an opportunity to address common educational and contextual drivers. These included, among others, the need for increased access and throughput of historically under-represented students in higher education. An advisory task team, named the curriculum review management team (CRMT), was engaged in envisaging, navigating and containing a complex sociopolitical process involving many stakeholders with disparate ideas, practice approaches, and focal concerns. The use of the Gale and Grant model of change management, augmented by the Community of Practice conceptual framework, to assist with these processes is described.

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