​​Below we answer some of the common questions prospective EDP students might have.

Why were Extended Degree Programmes (EDPs) established in South Africa?

In 1997, the South African government released the White Paper for the Transformation of Higher Education which outlined a comprehensive set of initiatives for the transformation of higher education. The White Paper noted the central role of higher education in the social, cultural and economic development of modern societies. The specific challenge in South Africa was to redress past inequalities and to transform the higher education system to respond to new realities and opportunities. In recognition of the central role of academic development in the transformation of higher education, Extended Degree Programmes (EDPs), or Extended Curriculum Programmes (ECPs) were established as a mechanism to deal with systemic obstacles to equity and student success.

Who qualifies for the Extended Degree Programme (EDP) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University?

The basic admission requirements for selection to the EDP are (i) admission to study for a Bachelor's degree, (ii) an average NSC result in the category 60-62.9% (excluding Life Orientation) and (iii) compliance with the admission requirements specific to the programme. Admission to the EDP is considered on a discretionary basis. A student's National Benchmark  Test  (NBT)  results,  socio-economic  status  (including historical disadvantage, guardians' or parents' income and the quality of schooling) as well as  the  availability  of  places,  are considered for admission.

Grade 12-learners who have been provisionally admitted to the mainstream programme in 2020, but who, after the publication of the NSCs in January 2021, does not meet the requirements of the mainstream programme, may lodge a request to Ms Cheryl Richardson at cherylr@sun.ac.za to be considered to be admitted to the EDP. The consideration will be subject to (i) NSCs being between 60% and 62,9% (with the exception of Life Orientation); (ii) the specific programme admission requirements, and (iii) the special admission criteria of the EDP. They must also attend the first EDP meeting on a date to be confirmed.

The EDP  is  not  an  option  for  the  following  degree  programmes:  BA (Drama  and Theatre  Studies),  BA (with  Music),  BMus,  BA  in  Visual  Arts,  BA (Political, Philosophical and Economic Studies) (PPE), BA (Law) and BA (Sport Science).

How does the EDP differ from mainstream programmes?

In the EDP, students do their first academic year over two years. They receive additional academic support and follow certain compulsory modules that prepare them better for their graduate studies. In their first year at university, EDP students take two subjects from the mainstream first-year offering of the particular degree programme for which they are registered, as well as the three compulsory EDP subjects, Texts in the Humanities 114 & 144, Information Skills 174 and Introduction to the Humanities 178. In their second year at university, students take the remaining subjects from the mainstream degree programme's first-year offering (normally three subjects), and register for the EDP support modules, Texts in the Humanities 143 & 153. Students who have an average of 65% in their first year, may apply to continue with a mainstream second-year subject. The contents of the third and fourth years of study are the same as the second- and third-year offerings of the mainstream degree programme. You can read more about the EDP in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Calendar

Is it compulsory for EDP students to write the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs)?

Under normal circumstances, it is compulsory to write the NBTs for admission to the EDP. However, in the light of the uncertainty about the timeline for the completion of the NBTs and the logistical challenges as a result of COVID-19, Stellenbosch University will not use NBT results for selection or placement for the 2021 intake. The NBT results will also not be used in the calculation of a selection factor. 

When is the first meeting with EDP lecturers?

First-year EDP students and their parents/guardians are invited to an information meeting on a date and venue to be confirmed. During this session, there will be a detailed discussion of the EDP programme and the specific subjects for which you must register. You can read more about the Welcoming Programme once the electronic link is activated. The preliminary date for the commencement of the academic year is 15 March 2021.

When do first-year EDP students register?

EDP students do not register electronically, but in person at NARGA in the Administration Block on a date and venue to be confirmed.  EDP students who will be doing their second EDP year in 2021, will register on a date to be confirmed.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences look forward to welcoming you to the University of Stellenbosch and wish you the very best for your studies.​