Dr Shaheeda Essack, director of the registration of private higher education institution at the department of higher education and training (right) speaks with Robert Matarise principal of Sandton Technical College in Rustenburg. The college was shut down for operating illegally. PHOTO: Molaole Montsho/ANA

Rustenburg - The Sandton Technical College in Rustenburg was shut down on Thursday, after it was found to be operating illegally during an inspection blitz on fraudulent private colleges in Rustenburg by the department of higher education and training (DHET).

"What we have discovered in the passed six months is that many private colleges registered one or two qualifications with the department, they hide behind that registration to offer a range of unaccredited programmes," said Dr Shaheeda Essack, director for registration of private higher education institutions.

She said the other problem was that private colleges operate on sites or branches that are not approved, the other problem was franchising and outsourcing.

The colleges also claimed to offer diploma course while they in fact offer higher education certificates.

Sandton Technical College was ordered to shut down immediately and refund over 40 prospective students that had already paid.

College principal Robert Matarise said the college would start to refund students on Thursday, one student had paid R6,500 for an unaccredited course.

Rostec College was also found not to be accredited and was ordered to halt operations, the college was found to have only accredited to offer only health science course.

Brooklyn City College was ordered to stop offering N1, N2 and N3 engineering studies because its registration with Umalusi the Quality Council for General and Further Education and Training, had lapsed in December. 

The DHET was embarking on a three-week long nationwide public awareness campaign aimed at enforcing compliance with the relevant legislation in the private college sector.

African News Agency/ANA