Students warned of bogus colleges

2018-02-07 06:01
PHOTO: Samkelisiwe GumedeAmanzimtoti SAPS communications officer Captain Van Der Spuy.

PHOTO: Samkelisiwe GumedeAmanzimtoti SAPS communications officer Captain Van Der Spuy.

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MANY young people have been victims of bogus private colleges over the years. The Department of Higher Education and Training is aware of countless reports of people being lured into enrolling at fake colleges as a scheme to rob them of their money.

The department is constantly taking precautions and raising awareness for future students to not make the same mistakes. Every prospective student has rights and should be aware of them when choosing a college.

It is important that the prospective student is aware and cautious when looking into studying at a private college as some of them are fly-by-night colleges.

Amanzimtoti SAPS communications officer Captain Van Der Spuy said: “The SAPS encourages prospective students to equip themselves with the necessary tools as they are our future leaders. Be informed in order to not fall prey to ‘fly-by-night’ institutions. Education is the key to their success.”

This message to students from the Department of Education and Higher Training is to encourage them to verify the private college, the programme they offer and the site or branch at which the programme is offered and if it is accredited by the Quality Council (QCs), the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) and Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). Here are some tips for prospective students provided by the Government Communications and Information System.


• Look for the certificate of registration from the DHET on the premises of the college.

• The information on the certificate can be verified with the information on the registers, which are on the DHET website at

• For Seta-accredited qualifications, contact the relevant Seta directly.

• For QCTO qualifications, contact the QCTO directly at 012 003 1800.

Students also need to investigate the following.

• How long has the institution been in existence?

• How does the infrastructure look?

• How professional are the staff in terms of engaging with students, responding to queries, maintaining records and running the administrative and financial systems?

• Are the lecturers qualified to lecture?

• Do they make exaggerated claims and promises about jobs and salaries?

• How many of the programmes they offer are accredited?

• Are the fees too high or too low?

Final checks.

• Look at how other graduates are performing in the labour market.

• Speak to other students and graduates.

• Consult the Hello Peter website.

• Report any wrongdoing to the regulator and warn other students.

Should you have a query, do not hesitate to contact the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Register of Private Higher Education Institution’s Dr Shaheeda Essack at 012 312 5444.

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