Colleges under scrutiny

2018-02-14 06:01
Dr Shaheeda Essack, director of the registration of the private higher education institutions at the Department of Higher Education and Training, inspects programmes of the White Stone College in the presence of Joseph Dlamini, campus manager.Photo: Teboho Setena

Dr Shaheeda Essack, director of the registration of the private higher education institutions at the Department of Higher Education and Training, inspects programmes of the White Stone College in the presence of Joseph Dlamini, campus manager.Photo: Teboho Setena

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At least four private colleges in Bloemfontein was issued with letters of contravention on Friday (09/02).

Issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the letters compel the four colleges to each make presentation within seven days after the letters were issued.

The letters issued followed joined blitz inspections conducted at private colleges operating in Bloemfontein.

These were conduc­ted by the DHET, Council on Higher Education, South African Qualifications Authority, Umalusi, Council for Quality Assurance in General and the Department of Further Education and Training.

Dr Shaheeda Essack, direc­tor of the registration of private higher education institutions at the DHET, says blitz inspections were done nationwide as part of regula­ting private colleges and clamping down on those operating illegally.

The four Bloemfontein private institutions issued with letters are the Bolton College, White Stone College, Jeep College and the Rostec College.

These colleges were found to be operating certain programmes illegally.

These four colleges have been instructed to inform students who have enrolled for these programmes about the status quo of contravention.

Essack says letters of contravention issued were for the misrepresentation of programmes these colleges offer without accreditation.

She says colleges issued with letters are compelled to stop offering programmes not approved and accredited by the regulatory bodies, and to also make a presentation.

“These institutions have been given seven days to make presentation from the day when letters were issued,” says Essack.

She says the common problem according to their findings, is that private colleges operate on sites or branches that are not approved. The other problem was franchising and outsourcing.

The DHET and different stakeholders are investigating six academic colleges in total opera­ting in Bloemfontein.

Essack says as the regulatory body and other stakehol­ders they have discovered that many private colleges registered one or two qualifications with the department, but then hide behind that registration to offer a range of unaccredi­ted programmes.

Essack says these private colleges overstep to offer other programmes which are not accredited with the department.

Some even offer programmes before their applications for accreditation are approved by the different regulatory bodies.

Students willing to further their studies at private colle­ges have been strongly advised to verify the accreditation and registration of such private institutions and the programmes they offer.

Essack says students should not be fooled by that one programme the college is accredited for, but should verify all the programmes offered.

Call the DHET’s toll free number (0800-872-222) to verify private colleges and programmes offered, and its accreditation.

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