The Academic Support Programme for Engineering in Cape Town (ASPECT) provides academic support for students who have entered into an engineering degree at UCT and find that they cannot cope in their 1st year of studies.

The transition from school to university is proving to be a difficult and even traumatic one for increasing numbers of students. The quantity of work, the pace at which material is covered and conceptual complexity are all greater than you have experienced at school, even though some of the topics covered appear the same. It is therefore important to begin the year working hard (even if some of the early material does seem familiar), and get used to the long hours and dedicated practice that will be required of you. Experience from the past few years, and particularly last year, has persuaded us that many of the incoming students would be better off taking a reduced load in their first year and planning the curriculum over a 5-year period. You may find that early in the semester you are already realising that the work is delivered at a pace that is too fast for you and you are struggling to adjust to the demands of university courses, general battling to understand concepts and solve the problems.

If this is your experience, then please consider getting help from the ASPECT. You will reduce the number of course you take in your first year so that you can focus (with help from ASPECT) on the core first-year Maths, Physics and Engineering 1 courses. The remaining courses you need to graduate will be spread across the following 4 years so that you have an even but reduced workload per year.

There are two times when you can use this opportunity. After the first term when you have seen your first class test results, or after the first semester when you have seen your first exam results.

For more information contact the ASPECT office on 021 650 3238 or email Xolani Klaasen