FET Colleges

Again this year, hundreds of thousands of disappointed students will be turned away by the handful of universities in South Africa that can simply not accommodate the demand from prospective first-year students qualified for admission to university. Fortunately, there is a smart solution for savvy students, and it is a solution that also offers a host of benefits.

The transition from a higher learning institution to the workplace is not an easy one
for students or employers, and there is a need for better communication between
stakeholders to ensure that learners are properly prepared for the marketplace.

A change in culture and leadership is necessary if higher education institutions are to
embrace diversity and uphold the human rights of all students, irrespective of their
colour or religion.

In response to calls for a better education system, government has decided to focus
all its energy and resources on making FET colleges the leading providers of higher
education, but at what cost?

The main objective of the Khayelitsha Skills Development Summit was to create a
roadmap towards developing the skills, competency and progress of the community of
Khayelitsha in order to advance economic and social upliftment.

Government plans to take control of the human resources function at FET colleges
across the country, and will fulfill the task of hiring all permanent staff. Is this a
positive step? Or is government assuming too much control in the higher education
landscape?

Role players in the further education and training sector have been invited to join the
5th annual FET conference which seeks to promote higher education, build networks
and bridge the learning gap through new technologies.

The six Western Cape FET Colleges will be launching an Artisan Initiative with support
from the Western Cape Education Department, as part of government's plan to
increase the number of artisans in the country.

SAICA and the Department of Higher Education and Training are showing the
way to public-private collaboration. If professional bodies are going to deliver
to a sustainable future for South Africa they could do worse than to follow the
lead that SAICA has shown.

Taung Agricultural College in the North West has received a donation of US $1
million from Danish company Haldor Topsøe, which specialises in research and
technology.

Bridging the gap between academic programmes and the workplace
has become one of the biggest challenges in the skills development
landscape. The 2nd Annual National FET Conference aims to find solutions to
this challenge.

Minister Nzimande is set to launch the Free State FET Graduate Placement
Programme which will see graduates from FET colleges being placed for
experiential learning in various components of the Free State Provincial
Government and municipalities.

Addressing areas of inequality within the higher education sector is no easy
task but the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training aims to do
just that through its focus on accessibility.

The shortage of artisan and engineering skills in the country has prompted
government to focus on and promote study and job "opportunities' in this
sector. But are these opportunities really available to everyone?

The Gauteng Provincial Government will assist 240 students, who were
fraudulently placed at Westcol Further Education and Training college
campuses by a local resident.

The 3rd Annual FET and Partnerships Conference will take place on the 18th
and 19th of March with the aim of promoting partnerships between the ICT
and FET sector.

The 78,2% matric pass rate for 2013 is the highest pass rate in 20 years.
However, many school leavers have been left high and dry as South Africa?s
public universities are swamped by large numbers of applicants.

Construction on the Further Education and Training (FET) College campus in
Sterkspruit forms part of the Department's plans to build 12 new campuses in
the in the rural and vulnerable areas.

Bogus FET colleges are popping up across the country and the Department of
Higher Education and Training has urged students, parents and guardians to
ensure that the institutions they enrol with are legally registered.

The demand for skills in South Africa must be met by moving away from a
university-based post school education and training system. According to
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande there should be
greater diversification.

Members of the successful 2013 matric class in the Western Cape can still
enrol for studies in 2014. Opportunities to obtain a globally sought after
qualification in the manufacturing sector are still up for grabs to qualifying
applicants in Cape Town.

Prospective students who cannot gain entry to universities due to capacity
are considering FET colleges as a medium for furthering their
education. Despite its shaky reputation FET colleges are filling a gap that
universities are unable to close.

As the class of 2013 scrambles to secure a space at universities and colleges,
an education
expert has warned prospective students to ensure they carefully scrutinise
institutions before signing up.

As part of the turnaround strategy for the country?s Further Education and
Training (FET) colleges, a new policy has been introduced to ensure that
learners are in class and on time.

With the aim of creating a common understanding of training, recognition
and accreditation requirements among FET colleges, the Transnet NSF Project
has been launched.

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