The mushrooming of illegal colleges and practices is a continuous concern for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), especially at the beginning of the new academic year.
Students who have just completed matric and are desperate for admission to institutions of higher education and training sometimes fall prey to bogus colleges.
According to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, DHET has the constitutional authority to regulate the private provisioning of college programmes and higher education programmes.
He says the department works closely with law enforcement agencies in the country to stop illegal institutions of higher education and training from operating.
“The public is requested to be vigilant and not fall for the bogus operators who are only interested in money and do not offer accredited programmes,” the Minister says.
The department also advises the public to become aware of private colleges and institutions that claim to offer qualifications without approval from the DHET and/or the relevant Quality Councils (QCs).
He urges the public to not be misled by false advertisements which illegally promise internationally recognised qualifications.
“All programmes and qualifications offered by duly registered institutions must be accredited by the relevant Quality Councils in South Africa and must be reflected as such against the name of each institution that appears in the registers,” the Minister says.
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is the oversight body of the NQF and the custodian of its values and quality character. It registers qualifications and part-qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) upon recommendation from the Quality Councils (QCs).
According to SAQA, training providers are required to register with the department.
“Training providers must also be accredited to offer registered qualifications and skills programmes by the relevant QCs,” SAQA says.
The three QCs are:
The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) for general and further education and training qualifications;
Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for work-based qualifications; and
Council on Higher Education (CHE) for higher education qualifications.
To confirm the status of a training provider to offer qualifications and/or skills programmes, please contact:
Umalusi: 012 349 1510 or visit www.umalusi.org.za
QCTO: 012 003 1800 or visit www.qcto.org.za
CHE: 012 349 3840 or visit www.che.ac.za
Potential students may also check the list of accredited and registered institutions on the website of the department www.dhet.gov.za or contact the Call Centre at 0800 87 2222; and SMS or send “Please Call Me” to 072 204 5056.