With reality kicking in for matric class of 2019 about the future of tertiary education, officials and the Department of Higher Education, have repeatedly issued warnings for prospective students to steer clear of bogus colleges and educational scams.
General Manager of the Independent Institution of Education (IIE) Peter Kriel offers advice to matriculants still frantically searching for institutions to enroll at. “Don’t despair it is not too late, Although you’re likely not going to be granted a place at a public university as space is quite limited but there are a number of private institutions that are open, that still accepts students. ”
While the sound of a private institution may sound unnerving Kriel reminds potential students it is not all doom and gloom. “The key message in that regard [applying at a private institution] is to make sure the qualification you want to enroll for is accredited and that the institution actually exists and is registered with the department of higher education and training. If you cover those two aspects, you’re pretty secure.”
It is important to note that in South Africa there is only one quality assurance system. Whether the institution be public or private, both follow the same process in getting registered and accredited.
Be aware of scammers on the internet that try their utmost to make the institution look credible by using bombastic words, and sale-representative tactics. There are various ways to check whether the institution and course is registered and accredited.
“Step one, to check whether the qualification is accredited, go onto the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) website (www.saqa.org.za) search for the qualification that someone is selling you, and if it is on the SAQA website with the SAQA ID then you know the qualification is accredited.”
“Step two, to check if the institution is registered you go onto the website of the department and high education and training. At the top there’s a little tab that says resources, with in that there’s an option that says register and there you will find a register of all registered private higher education institutions. (http://www.dhet.gov.za/SitePages/DocRegisters.aspx) ”
Most people go to study with the main intention of walking into a secure job after they have completed their course, subsequently Kriel suggests paying a visit to a student councilor prior to applying. This will avoid dropping out, and wasting money. “You want to be as certain as you can be that when you’ve gone through 3 or 4 years of working towards a degree, you can walk into a work place and actually contribute.”
It is almost guaranteed that young people who have prematurely picked a course and/or been coaxed into studying for a qualification they don’t want to will eventually drop out.
Be completely sure that you are studying (accredited course, obviously) what you want to study at whichever (registered) institution suits you.