The National Benchmarks Tests Project (NBTP):

31-10-17 USAf 0 comment

In light of the current three-year Service Level Agreement on the NBT approaching expiry on 9 November 2017, the USAf Board needed to consider whether to renew the SLA between USAf and the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Higher Education and Development (CHED).

To inform this decision, the USAf office, at the request of the Board, undertook a survey to determine the usage of the NBTs, the value derived from the NBTs and recommendations regarding the future of the NBTP as a USAf project. Twenty universities responded to the survey and a report was compiled. Sixty five percent (65%) of the institutions that responded to the survey were using the NBTs for varying purposes, but there was rarely an unequivocal view that represents the entire institution as different faculties, agencies and departments treat the NBTs quite differently, and use the scores differently, even within institutions. The report noted that the NBT scores were most commonly used, in combination with the NSC marks, for selection and diagnosis to determine academic support and interventions, admission and placement into specific departments and faculties.

Notwithstanding the clarity of the questions in the survey, few of the respondents had provided direct responses to the questions. This was because most institutions do not have an unequivocal answer to give, except those who do not use the NBTs at all.

In light of these inconclusive results, the Board could not make an informed decision in terms of the future of the NBTP. The Board decided that the SLA be extended for a further year until November 2018 and that in the meantime, more convincing and compelling arguments and recommendations be tabled to enable a decision as to whether to retain the NBTs as a USAf project or otherwise.

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