On the back of the release of the class of 2019’s Matric results, many youngsters are likely planning their next move.

For many that move is heading to a college or university and minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, has advised students and parents be wary of fly-by-night institutions.

“These institutions lure and mislead future students into believing that these colleges offer qualifications that are recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority,” explains Nzimande.

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

While the department works hard to shut down fly-by-night colleges, many slip through the cracks.

Thankfully checking whether a college or university is legit or not and it’s relatively easy.

The first step is rather simple. All you need to do is head to this link and check whether the institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education.

Of course, those registers may be out of date so the department advises asking for a copy of the institution’s certificate of registration and registration number. These can then be forwarded to the department for verification.

You will also want to check that the qualifications offered are recognised. While it follows that a registered institution offers qualifications which are recognised by employers, that may not always be the case.

If you have concerns we highly recommend heading to the South African Qualifications Authority website to verify which qualifications are recognised locally.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) also warned of institutions offering internationally recognised education programmes.

“Claims by an institution that it is offering internationally recognised higher education programmes, while not registered to operate in South Africa, are misleading. Get the right information from the department,” the DHET said.

These tips should help you make sure you’re attending a legitimate college or university and studying toward a legitimate qualification.

It’s also worth noting that if you encounter a college or university that isn’t registered you should alert the department.

“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 both print and electronic media,” concluded Nzimande.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]