Beware Of Fly-By-Night’ Colleges :Dept of Higher Education Warns

“The number of colleges that are operating illegally has decreased tremendously over the years. The decrease can be attributed to our monitoring awareness campaigns and our collaboration with print and electronic media,” said Nzimande.

Matrics, Beware Of Fly-By-Night' Colleges : Dept of Higher Education Warns-SurgeZirc SA
Minister Of Higher Education Blade Nzimande/Photo File: Screengrabs

With the 2019 matric results released, minister of higher education, science and technology Dr Blade Nzimande those wanting to pursue tertiary studies are at risk of being lured to study at illegal fly-by-night colleges.

The higher education department advises students to avoid bogus colleges and only enrol with accredited ones.

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The department warns that studies completed at illegal institutions aren’t recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority.

The department’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said the illegal operations target prospective students who are desperate and possibly have not qualified for further study at accredited institutions.

The department’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said the illegal operations target prospective students who are desperate and possibly have not qualified for further study at accredited institutions.

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Nzimande said bogus colleges were not registered as institutions of learning with the correct bodies, such as sector education and training authorities (Setas) and the department of higher education & training.

“These institutions lure and mislead future students into believing that these colleges offer qualifications that are recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

“These illegal colleges offer compromised qualifications which are not recognised for employment purposes or for further studying,” said Nzimande.

“The number of colleges that are operating illegally has decreased tremendously over the years. The decrease can be attributed to our monitoring awareness campaigns and our collaboration with print and electronic media,” said Nzimande.

He said he was working closely with law-enforcement agencies to close down bogus colleges.

Prospective students wanting to enrol at private colleges have been urged to check the registration statuses thereof with the department through its toll-free number, 0800 872 222.

The department gave the following tips on how to identify “fly-by-night” colleges:

• Before enrolling with a private higher education institution, ask for evidence that the institution and its programmes are registered. This evidence is the certificate of registration and the registration number issued by the department.

• Before enrolling, make sure the institution offers learning programmes and qualifications at the level at which you want to qualify.

• Claims by an institution that it is offering internationally recognised higher education programmes, while not registered to operate in SA, are misleading. Get the right information from the department.

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