With many 2018 matriculants looking to enrol in higher learning institutions, the government recently issued a warning against illegitimate colleges. Earlier this month the 2018 matric results were announced and with many students looking forward to studying further, but often they’re likely to fall victim to bogus institutions. On the South African Government Twitter page a warning was issued to students and their parents to be wary of fly-by-night colleges. “Good morning Mzansi, learners and parents are urged to be aware of bogus colleges when applying at institutions of higher learning,” the tweet read. Good morning Mzansi, learners and parents are urged to be aware of bogus colleges when applying at institutions of higher learning. pic.twitter.com/PayERfpa8z— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) January 7, 2019 Lunga Ngqengelele, the department of higher education and training’s media liaison officer, told DRUM said that the department was working hard to ensure several private colleges were registered to provide quality education. “Some private colleges operate without being registered,” Ngqengelele said. “To close down unregistered private education and training institutions, the department is working closely with the South African Police Service and other law-enforcement authorities.”Although President Cyril Ramaphosa tweeted that he encourages youth to apply to higher education institutions, Ngqengelele urged students as well as their parents to verify the registration status of that particular institution. “The department advises students who want to enrol at private colleges to check the registration status of such private colleges with the department through its toll-free number 0800-872-222,” he said. “Alternatively, students can log on to the website of the department where the ‘Register of Private Colleges’ is published and updated on a regular basis. The website address is www.dhet.gov.za/resources/registers.” While the department may be hard at work in eliminating these unregistered institutions, there are still many students who have graduated and been unlawfully granted qualifications. “Regarding fake qualifications, parliament recently passed a bill which makes it a criminal offence for anyone to misrepresent their qualifications. The consequence is jail time,” Ngqengelele said. According to the DHET, they run campaigns throughout the year to make both students and parents aware of bogus colleges.