The jubilation associated with the issue and publishing of the Matric results is dying down, now begins the time for the prospective students to take the next step towards the achievement of their career goals.
Those who had been accepted by their chosen institutions have started the registration process, however, there are those who are only starting the application process now. Of the latter group a large percentage do not even have a preferred educational institution with which they will register and may not even know how or where to select one.
Regrettably, these are the people who often fall prey to the “bogus” or “fly-by-night” colleges, which often thrive through the establishment of strong visibility on various social media platforms; at malls, taxi ranks and other public areas, with the aim of marketing themselves to prospective students.
Some of these institutions try to appeal to the prospective student’s short term needs and offer incentives for registration in the form of various prizes and even the promise of gadgets such as cell phones, tablets or laptops.
Others even go beyond this and promise a guaranteed job upon completion of studies with them. This statement is used to lure students into enrolling with an institution, hoping to secure employment upon completion of their studies. With the high unemployment rate in the country, this is a very manipulative marketing strategy.
These institutions usually master their marketing so well through, amongst others, a website, appealing brochures, branded offices, adverts and other marketing tools, so much so that one would be convinced of their authenticity. However, with all of this, it is always a battle to verify the registration status of these learning institutions.
Studying with an unregistered learning institution has the following impact/s or more:
Spotting red flags?
The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, has warned prospective students to not fall prey to bogus colleges, which can cost a person precious time and money with no return at the end. At most, these colleges will:
These “Fly-by-night” colleges are not registered as institutions of learning with the correct Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) or other relevant regulatory bodies. “These institutions lure and mislead future students into believing that these colleges offer qualification that are recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA),” said Minister Nzimande. “These illegal colleges offer compromised qualifications which are not recognised for employment purposes or for further studying,” added Minister Nzimande. The Minister said that the department has been successful in shutting down these illegal operators. However, whilst the department may be hard at work in eliminating these unregistered colleges, there are still many students who continue to register and are unlawfully granted these fake qualifications”. (DHET Media Statement: 07 January 2020)
Prospective students need to spot these red flags prior to enrolment, err on the side of caution and verify their registration with DHET. Students can contact the DHET directly and verify the accreditation/registration status of the institution they wish to enrol with.
Where to look for information on legitimate institutions?
The Department of Higher Education and Training, in partnership with other regulatory bodies within the learning space, have embarked on a journey to raise awareness of bogus colleges and institutions throughout the country. Prospective students need to check whether the institution, together with the programme and the campus, at which they wish to enrol is registered with the following regulatory bodies:
NB: For verifying with SETAs, students need to visit the website of the relevant SETA as there are 21 SETAs with each one managing and creating programmes in its sector.
The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) has advised that students should also verify the legitimacy of an institution by looking for the certificate of registration from the Department of Higher Education and Training on the premises of the college. The information furnished on that registration certificate can be verified with the one on the registers, which are available on the department’s website.
As many want to study further, pursue their career goals and enhance their lives, there is a need to be very careful of the unscrupulous unregistered learning institutions.
MISA Education Benefits
We believe in growth and development for both our members and their children. It is for this reason that we encourage and assist our members with personal and professional development through the programmes we provide as part of our benefit offerings. The educational benefits offered by MISA are:
Educational MISA Members Programme
30 eligible MISA members obtaining a Matric or a Matric equivalent qualification – R2 500.
Study Assistance Programme
Gives 80 MISA members a payment of tertiary studies for up to R10 000 – a recognised and/or duly registered institution.
80 bursaries of R10 000 to help fund tertiary studies for children of MISA members.
School Support Benefit
Offers 1 000 MISA members R1 000 each as incentive for registering their child/children in Grades 10/11/12.
All MISA benefits are subject to the specified criteria per benefit.
The registration and accreditation status of the institution which our members wish to enrol at is one of the other key prerequisites that we verify prior to awarding the educational benefits in order to protect our members from these bogus institutions.
Visit our website for more information on these benefits.
www.misa.org.za, contact Training@ms.org.za or call us directly on 011 476 3920.
How To Identify Bogus Colleges – SA Study