With all the admission and registration processes efficiently underway at tertiary institutions, it’s all systems go for the 2013 academic year throughout the country.
Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has stated that the department is ready for the new academic year. Admission processes are all proceeding well at all tertiary institutions and the department is in close contact with all institutions to make certain that they manage all challenges that typically erupt during this period of the year.
This academic year there are approximately 183 893 places available at universities for students coming into the system for the very first time. Further Education and Training (FET) colleges will provide 100 000 spaces for new applicants. The Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) are offering 18 000 learneship opportunities.
“The number of spaces that are still available will only be [known] when the institutions complete registration. As the department, we have established a dedicated unit which works closely with universities in trying to resolve challenges as they arise,” stated Minister Dr Blade Nzimande.
Together with the department of education, all universities have dedicated teams who are able to function as a first port of call for the department should any issues come up. These teams will furnish the department continuously reports and feedback on developments as they unfold at institutions. The department has additionally started compiling weekly updates providing feedback on the state of every institution’s registration process.
Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana will be visiting various institutions and providing support where and if necessary. The deputy minister, will additionally, monitor the registration situation throughout the country by communicating with universities and the public via the media.
Nzimande has made an earnest appeal to all employers to create employment opportunities for FET graduates, where they are able to acquire practical work experience for 18 months. “We have 11 000 FET graduates which were produced between 2009 and 2011, who require placement… Our goal is to ensure that all FET graduates get work places,” he was quoted saying.
SETA offices have also been set up at all FET colleges to help and assists students with learnership opportunities that are avaliable for 2013. Last year, the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority provided R27 miilion worth of bursaries to students in FET colleges. The SETAs are working closely with public FETs and several universities to finance skills development programmes of various types. Nzimande at the same time proposed that universities need to work closely with FETs and provide students who have completed a year at a FET college, and wish to proceed to university, the chance to have their course work credited; and additionally universities need to inform and assist FETs should they discover that their training is not up to the required standard.
The department of education intends to grow even more the FET college sector over the forthcoming 20 years to make certain that there exists a college in each and every education district.