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THE SA Council for Social Service Professions, which regulates the training and the profession of social workers, has raised concerns about the quality of training offered by the University of Venda.

This has forced the university not to admit new first-year students.

The council found that the lecture-students ratio of 1:180 per class from the second to the fourth year was very high.

“During the site visit, a total of 596 students from (second to fourth) levels were recorded, with only two permanent senior lectures, the head of department, and two junior and part-time lecturers,” said council registrar Iveda Smith.

She said the head of department, who did not have a secretary, as in other universities, was forced to lecture and do administrative work.

Smith said while heads of department were expected to lecture at times, their primary role was to guide the lecturers and students and help beef up the university’s research capacity.

She indicated that these factors compromised the quality of training offered to students.

She said the council still recognised the qualification offered by the University of Venda and added that current students would be allowed to register with the council.