Feb 1, 2020

The problem is bogus courses, not colleges, says Dept of Education


The Department of Higher Education and Training says the main problem are accredited private colleges offering unaccredited courses.

Thabiso Goba
Berea News
January 30, 2020
The Department of Higher Education and Training set up their tent right on the busy intersection on Joe Slovo and Anton Lembede Street. DHET was warning prospective students to guard against bogus colleges and unaccredited courses.

WITH the academic calendar set to start, there are many private college campuses ramping up their advertising budgets to try and enroll students at their institutions.

The specter of bogus private colleges has long plagued Durban prompting the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to set up an information tent on the busy intersection of Joe Slovo and Anton Lembede Street in Durban last week.

Their mission was to crackdown on bogus institutions in the city and help prospective students not fall prey to them.

Sibusiso Ndebele, 19, visited the DHET tent to find out if the private college he was planning to register for was properly accredited.

Ndebele was one of many students who got “scammed” by Sandton Technical College (Durban branch), when he was studying for a National Diploma in Policing, an unaccredited course.

“Those people played with us but I learned my lesson, so now I want to do things the right way,” he said.

Shaheeda Essack, Director of Registration of Private Higher Education Institute at DHET, said the main problem was that a lot of colleges were accredited but offered unaccredited courses.

“Some colleges (also) have accreditation for some programmes and not others,” she said.

Essack gave an example of Durban City Campus, a legitimately registered private institution that was accredited to offer Human Resources Management but not Home Based Care as it had advertised.

Berea Mail visited the Durban City Campus where the management team indicated they would issue a statement in due time to address the matter.

In total, DHET visited 15 private institutions in Durban, and only three were found to be problematic; Durban City Campus, Maharishi Invincibility Institute and Crane International Academy FET College.

Maharishi Institute is an American based private university that was founded in 1973 by Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

It has two campuses in SA, in Johannesburg and Durban and its flagship programme is a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree which is not accredited by DHET.

Nkosinathi Nkosi, Marketing manager at Maharishi Institute, confirmed their course is not accredited in SA but it is in the USA.

“The course is not offered by us (here in SA), we are basically a study centre. Our students are registered in the USA institution. We are always clear about this fact and our students are well aware of it,” he said.

However, Essack said this was illegal and that the department had warned Maharishi several times about this practice.

Crane International offers an unaccredited National Diploma in Policing which Essack said is very popular among private colleges.

“Some colleges they enter into MOU’s (memorandum of understanding) with each other to offer each other’s programmes and that’s not allowed,” she said.

Crane was approached for comment but no response was received.

Both the South African Police Service and Metro Police say this course is not a gateway to entering the police force.
Requirements to join the SAPS or Metro are a matric certificate and passing a physical and psychological evaluation test.

To check if a course or private institution is registered visit www.dhet.gov.za/resources/Registers or alternatively call DHET’s toll-free number: 080087 2222.

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