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E-tolling and the price of petrol are likely to force more South Africans to stick closer to home.
Luckily that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dreams of furthering your education or enjoying a successful career, says Kerry Damons of Boston City Campus and Business College.
“It merely means that you have to adapt to the changing circumstances,” she notes.
“We will all have to change our thinking when it comes to choosing where we live, shop, work, play and study. Closer to home is likely to become a main consideration in each case.”
Fortunately finding a tertiary institution close to home should not be too troublesome.
Damons points out that private colleges in particular have been sensitive to the rising costs of living throughout the years and they have pulled out all the stops to make education accessible to people – no matter where they live.
Boston City Campus and Business College, for example, has over 40 branches spread throughout the country, both in urban and semi-urban areas.
“It does not come as a surprise to us at Boston that people need to study closer to home,” she says.
“We noticed that in the UK and other European countries it has been a trend over the past few years for people to minimise their daily travelling.
“This is mostly due to the bad economic conditions in those countries which, as economists correctly predicted, were likely to spread to the rest of the world – including South Africa – in due course.”
Studying at a local college closer to home has many benefits, but Damons cautions prospective students and their parents to choose carefully.
Don’t be tempted to enrol at the nearest college and hope for the best – you can end up wasting your time and money studying for a qualification that is not legitimate.
The universal principle applies: you need to choose the college that will be the best for you and that has all the necessary credentials, she says.
Start by visiting www.education.gov.za, the website of the Department of Higher Education and Training, to view the official register of private higher education institutions in South Africa.
The register shows which tertiary colleges and other institutions are presently registered with the department and what courses/qualifications they are authorised to offer.
There are also details about the premises (addresses) of the college; in other words, the classrooms and other facilities have been checked and found to be fit for educational purposes.
Stay away from institutions that are not registered.
If you don’t have access to the Internet, you can phone the department at 012-312-5320 to obtain a copy of the information booklet on the registration and regulation of private higher education institutions.
Get a brochure or prospectus from the college you’re intending to go to and check that the following information is above board:
l Registration with Department of Higher Education and Training.
l Details of registered courses.
l Requirements and procedures relating to admission, exams and academic progress.
l Study fees and cancellation rules.
Note that educational institutions don’t issue proof of registration or accreditation to each individual student.
Also, don’t look for the official logos of the Department of Higher Education and Training, SAQA, CHE or Umalusi as legislation does not allow these logos to appear on brochures.
It is always advisable to personally visit the premises of the college you’re interest in.
Go with a friend or family member and maybe even with a teacher if it is near and convenient to do so.
Otherwise, get references from friends and family who studied or are currently studying at the college.
“Once you are satisfied that the college fulfils your need, don’t hesitate to enrol for your course of choice and to dream big,” says Damons.
“A good qualification helps you go places, so don’t let anything stop your plans for further study.
“Rather be like Sanral in this respect – no matter what obstacles or opposition cross your way, stick to your plan!”