Nine bogus private institutions that defrauded parents and learners by offering qualifications without being registered with the Higher Education Department, were closed down in the last financial year.
Responding to parliamentary questions from ATM leader Vuyo Zungula, HIgher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said the institutions were found operating without registration as either private higher education institutions or private colleges in terms of the Higher Education Act, and Continuing Education and Training (CET) Act.
“Neither were they accredited by the Sector Education and Training Authorities and /or accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations in its capacity as the custodian of occupational qualifications on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework,” he said.
Nzimande also said the nine institutions were defrauding parents and learners while offering qualifications without registration by the department and/or without accreditation by the Council on Higher Education, the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations and Umalusi.
He said the department had a dedicated directorate to ensure that private institutions of higher learning were registered, and met the minimum requirements for registration as set out in both the Higher Education Act and the CET Act, and their attendant regulations.
“This directorate works very closely with the quality councils to ensure that private institutions are accredited for the qualifications they propose to offer and that the qualifications are registered on the national qualifications framework managed by the South African Qualifications Authority,” Nzimande said.
The minister said his department held awareness campaigns to ensure that parents and students do not fall prey to unregistered and/or unaccredited private institutions.
“The department, through its career development services and in conjunction with the quality councils, consistently embarks on campaigns such as KHETA – Apply Now, Nelson Mandela Career Guidance Day and others, to raise awareness among the parents and students on what they must look out for before they enrol at private institutions,” he added.