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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  14 Sep 2015

EDUCATION: RPL Opens the Doors to Higher Education


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UCT and Getsmarter, one of South Africa's leaders in online education, are offering online postgraduate programmes that are no longer reserved only for those who have completed undergraduate studies.

Through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), applicants without an undergraduate degree or equivalent, but with the necessary skills gained through informal studies or work experience, are assessed to determine readiness for either the UCT Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management or the UCT Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Marketing.

Following payment of R1,200 and before the evaluation commences, RPL candidates are required to submit a Portfolio of Evidence (POE) online to gain admission to the evaluation. The on-line, two-week RPL Evaluation offers applicants an opportunity to demonstrate that their industry experience has sufficiently prepared them for postgraduate level studies. RPL is a credible way to access postgraduate programmes without having studied an undergraduate qualification.

Rob Paddock, Chief of Education at GetSmarter, says, "RPL acknowledges that degree-relevant knowledge and skills can often be gained via informal studies and experiential means. As such, it provides suitable candidates, who've not previously undertaken formal studies, the opportunity to access higher education opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them."

In January 2015, UCT Faculty of Commerce and GetSmarter collaborated to deliver the first presentation of the online Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management and the online Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Marketing.

In keeping with the university and faculty policy of promoting both access and redress, a strong need was identified to design and implement the RPL system for both programmes. The partners introduced Across Africa to provide the highest quality blended-mode business education.

As a result, over 20% of the current student body applied through RPL and, according to Paddock, these students are performing very well. He noted that the performance of the RPL students is a strong indication that the RPL process is a powerful and effective one.

When designed and implemented well, online education can reach larger numbers of students and cater for more diverse needs. It also does so in ways that maintain, and even improve, the quality of the students' learning experience.

Across Africa's MD, Jacques Rousseau, explains, "A key virtue of online education is its flexibility - you can study when and where you like, so long as you complete tasks on time."

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