Masifunde. Developing an Online Study Skills Course as a Free Resource for First Generation University Entrants in Southern Africa

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Corporate Author
Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // The Masifunde project has created an online study skills course for first generation university entrants in Cape Town. It will also be available as a free resource for other institutions helping students facing similar challenges. Masifunde takes its name from a Xhosa expression which means "let us learn!" // The project is a collaboration between TSiBA Education (Tertiary School in Business Administration, Cape Town, South Africa) and Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE) (see for more details). // TSiBA, which means “to jump” in Xhosa, is a free-to-student tertiary level institution that offers emerging leaders an opportunity to study an enriched Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) programme. Applicants are drawn from impoverished communities around Cape Town. Selection includes proof of matriculation, but not necessarily university exemption and passing a test for competency in Maths and English. // Most TSiBA students need support with study skills. However, though the TSiBA students share a similar background, they have a variety of pre-existing skills levels. Studying online means that students can take the time they need, without feeling that they are either holding back fellow students or being slowed themselves. // The project has adapted Oxford’s existing online study skills course, designed for UK non-traditional mature students. The project started with a 1-day workshop at TSiBA, with tutors and students and other experienced in teaching study skills in South Africa, to inform the changes needed to adapt the Oxford course for the Masifunde audience. // The project will provide resources for youth beyond TSiBA: Masifunde is being made freely available on a Creative Commons License ( to other HEIs, colleges and organisations to use themselves. The course runs on Moodle, the Open Source learning/course management system, bringing the course and platform within reach of many target institutions. // Masifunde is funded under the English-African Partnerships programme managed by the British Council on behalf of the UK Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). // Paper ID 759

South Africa