Be aware of bogus educational institutions

Many students still fall prey to institutions that are not accredited, offering qualifications or unregistered qualifications, be it in the private or public domain.

The South African Qualifications Authority (Saqa) commended the class of 2022 for their resilience and drive to make it to this stage.

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These learners and communities are reminded that access to further studies should be at institutions of higher learning registered with the Department of Higher Education (DHET) and/or accredited to offer qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Saqa is responsible for the registration of compliant, quality-assured qualifications on the NQF, on the recommendation of quality councils.

Saqa’s mandate is to ensure that only registered qualifications are offered by institutions of higher learning and that these qualifications are legally attained.

Saqa ensures that qualifications are appropriately registered on its website, while activities to quality assure the delivery of learning programmes leading to the awarding of the qualification remains the responsibility of the Council on Higher Education (CHE), the quality council for qualifications in higher education and the quality council for trades and occupations (QCTO) and quality council for occupational qualifications.

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Students and the public should be aware that institutions that enrol unsuspecting students for unregistered qualifications are breaking the law and may receive a fine or be forced to close business.

Institutions of higher learning and accredited providers may only legally offer qualifications or part-qualifications that are registered on the NQF.

Many students still fall prey to institutions that are not accredited, offering qualifications or unregistered qualifications, be it in the private or public domain.

Qualifications and part-qualifications are registered for a specific period and institutions are obligated to ensure that the validity remains current in regulatory requirements before continuing to offer programmes leading to the qualifications.

Institutions of higher learning and accredited providers need to act responsibly by advising and informing their students about changes to the registration status of qualifications and part-qualifications they are offering.

Before enrolling for any qualification, it is also important for prospective students to understand the NQF level of their desired qualification.

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“We continue to see unnecessary blockages to career and learning progression based on lack of knowledge and even intentional misrepresentation regarding registered qualifications and their access and articulation requirements,” said Nadia Starr, Saqa CEO.

“We urge parents, caregivers and learners to first check if their preferred institutions of higher learning are registered with DHET, or in the case of occupational qualifications, if the provider is accredited by the QCTO, as illegal institutions tend to target unsuspecting and desperate learners, especially at the beginning of the year.

“It is equally important for learners intending to register at any institution of higher learning to first check the registration status of their desired qualification on the NQF,” added Starr.

Students and parents can search for the desired qualification on the Saqa website,

Saqa will continue to work with the quality councils and other NQF partners to ensure that all South Africans benefit from quality assured and relevant qualifications.


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