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Associate Professor in Higher Education Studies, University of Cape Town

Alan Cliff is an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and teaches courses in educational psychology, educational assessment and adult education to mostly postgraduate education students. He convenes courses in educational assessment and evaluation for students at certificate, diploma and master’s levels. Alan has supervised master’s and PhD students in areas such as the validation of standardised admissions tests, the use of alternate admissions tests for admission and placement purposes, and factors that facilitate the development of electronic systems literacy in the workplace. As co-ordinator of the staff development team in his department, Alan contributes to work on alignment between curriculum and student assessment, with new and established academics and professional staff. Regionally, Alan teaches courses on assessment design and academic literacy. His current research interests are in the assessment of academic potential using theories and principles of Dynamic Assessment and in the impact of the use of multiple-choice assessment on the quality of student learning. He is also involved in the National Benchmark Tests Project (NBTP) in South Africa, where he is convenor for the development of an NBT in Academic Literacy. As an invited member of the SAQA Special Reference Group on assessment, Alan contributes to the development of educational assessment policy in the further and higher education sectors in the country.


  • 2016–present
    Associate professor, University of Cape Town
  • 2003–2015
    Senior lecturer, University of Cape Town


  • 2001 
    University of Auckland, PhD
  • 1992 
    University of Cape Town, MEd