The Department of Higher Education has issued a warning to all prospective students to check the credentials of all private colleges that offer certificates, diplomas and degrees. Furthermore, students should not only check the credential of the institution but also check the status of each individual course that they offer.
The spokesperson for the Department of Higher Education spokesperson, Vuyelwa Qinga, claimed that there is a trend whereby colleges and institutions register for a few specific courses but then offer other courses which have not been approved.
The department tried to shut down a local Durban design college because they offered unaccredited courses and programmes in contravention of the Higher Education Act of 1997. However, this decision has been taken on appeal and the college is challenging the decision of the Department of Education.
The college has informed all students and their parents of the fact that it found itself in a situation whereby they found themselves without full accreditation for specific programs and courses due to the complex system layer down by the department along with the inordinate delays in processing application.
The specific college has exercised it right to appeal the decision to de-register the college and has informed all students has issued an advisory to all students to change to their fully accredited diplomas or alternative institutions. They also have the option to continue their education via distant education through their internationally recognized Milan campus. Information from the department has unveiled that the college was provisionally granted accreditation in 2009 but full registration has since been rejected.
The director of the Independent Institute of Education, Felicity Coughlan, has stated that even though there were incidents of malpractice in the sector, however, this was not very widespread and could easily be verified. All students need to to do is request accreditation details form any and all institutions. Students should also be aware that even though a college or institutions may state they are accreditation, students should go further and question the status of each individual qualification.
The Department of Education has advised all students to contact the department directly to check the registers of private higher education institutions and of private further education and training colleges, and the registered qualifications they offer.
We have searched the department’s website but cannot find any clear links to check the accreditation details of colleges and institutions along with accredited course details in South Africa. We have written to the department are awaiting answers.
Students can call 080 087 2222 or visit their website www.dhet .gov.za.