News / South Africa

Citizen Team
2 minute read
3 Jan 2018
6:20 am

IEB matric results up overall

Citizen Team

All candidates who passed achieved a pass good enough to do tertiary study.

Matriculants search through newspapers for their names, 07 January 2014, at Bhukulani Secondary School in Soweto, after the release of the national matric results. Picture: Alaister Russell

The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) has announced an overall improvement in last year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric examinations, with results released today to 11 464 full-time and 666 part-time candidates across southern Africa.

The 2017 pass rate is 98.76%, compared to last year’s pass rate of 98.67%. All candidates who passed achieved a pass good enough to enter tertiary study at one of the three levels:

  • 88.50% (compared to 87.61% in 2016) of the cohort achieved entry to degree study.
  • 8.96% (compared to 9.83% in 2016) qualified for entry to diploma study.
  • 1.30% (compared to 1.23% in 2016) achieved entry for study at Higher Certificate level.

The candidates wrote the exams at 212 examination centres across southern Africa in October and November 2017. There was an increase in numbers writing from 2016, when there were 11 022 full-time candidates and 703 part time candidates.

The IEB said the education standards authority, Umalusi, had monitored all aspects of the 2017 examination process and declared the results to be fair and valid.

Anne Oberholzer, CEO of the IEB, said: “The 2017 NSC candidates have done very well and have once again shown that with a commitment to hard work over their 12 years of schooling, and supported by a dedicated cohort of teachers and parents, they have passed with flying colours. They are ready for the next step in their journey of life-long learning.”

Looking at the results from a broader perspective, she added: “As the world changes, it is inevitable that traditional educational pathways will be challenged and demands placed on the mass education system to respond appropriately. Globalisation and the integration of societies across traditional boundaries demand that citizens develop appropriate social and emotional skills to manage a variety of non-traditional relationships effectively.

“The age of the IT professional has turned the traditional notion of success upside down. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs all dropped out of university, but have contributed enormously to the world.

“SA’s Mark Shuttleworth founded his digital certificate company, Thawte, while still a student. The key to their success was a keen interest in a field that demanded a change in attitude from the traditional ways of acquiring knowledge to an exploratory, entrepreneurial spirit of discovery.

“The world of performing arts and entertainment has many examples of people who found the traditional academic educational pathway was not for them, including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and Charlize Theron.”

Oberholzer added: “It is not useful for everyone to be focused solely on a university education, possibly neglecting their real strengths in the false belief that a degree is the only vehicle to a secure and successful life.”


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