Students warned of bogus colleges

2018-02-06 06:00
PHOTO: SuppliedHillcrest SAPS communications officer Captain Linzi Smith.

PHOTO: SuppliedHillcrest SAPS communications officer Captain Linzi Smith.

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

The department is constantly taking precautions and raising awareness for future students to not make the same mistakes.

Every student has rights and should be aware of them when choosing a college.

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

Hillcrest SAPS communications officer Captain Linzi Smith said: “Students need to stay informed and always do proper research into colleges before registering or making any payments for courses. Never settle.

“The path students take now, determines their future,” she added.

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 students when verifying a college, 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 available on the department’s website at www.dhet.gov.za

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

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

STUDENTS ALSO NEED TO BE WARY OF THE FOLLOWING:

• how long has the institution been established?;

• how does the infrastructure look?;

• how professional is the staff in terms of engaging with students, responding to queries, maintaining records and the administrative and financial systems?;

• are the lecturers qualified?;

• do they make exaggerated claims and promises of jobs and salaries?;

• how many of the programmes they offer are accredited?; and

• 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; and

• report any wrongdoing to the regulator and warn other students as well.

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

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