Department Outlines Plans To Expand TVET College Sector



There are more than 50 TVET colleges with over 200 campuses located across South Africa. Government wants to increase enrolment at these institutions and has outlined plans for expansion.



When compared to universities or private colleges, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges are generally seen as being less prestigious, as they are associated with poorly performing students.

However, over the past years, the Higher Education department has been on a mission to expand the sector and to make TVET institutions colleges of choice.

Tabling the department's R133.8 billion budget for the 2023/24 financial year in Parliament on Wednesday, Minister Blade Nzimande highlighted some of their plans to expand the TVET college sector.

Expanding the sector is part of the departments National Plan for Post School Education and Training which contains six goals and associated objectives, and four ideas emerge "as the new drivers for the system".

Nzimande stressed:

The time has arrived for us to drastically increase intake in TVET Colleges.

Nzimande says that by 2023 his department plans to have at least 2.5 million students attending TVET Colleges. This is part of the departments “immediate task” to change the size and shape of the PSET system particularly to expand the college sector". 

Meanwhile, the department has also opened up 14 954 TVET placement opportunities to the value of R726 Million as they aim to achieve a target of 20 000 placements of TVET graduates work placements. 

Implementing Entrepreneurship Training 

Other efforts to expand the sector includes implementing more entrepreneurship training at TVET colleges. Nzimande said 26 of the country’s colleges are currently engaged in entrepreneurial training through so-called Entrepreneurship Hubs.

He added, “We are working to ensure that all our colleges are involved in some form of entrepreneurship training in the next three (3) years.”  

The department has also expanded its Centres of Specialisation from 26 to 34 centres at 20 TVET colleges with a further investment of R68 million.

“Sixteen Colleges now have 35 Trade Test Centres. These trade test centres have trade tested over 600 artisans of which over 500 have qualified as artisans,” said the Minister.

Improving TVET College Administration

In the past, the sector has faced several administration challenges particularly with regards to delays of issuing certificates to graduates.

At the budget vote the Minister announced that they aim to improve administration at TVET Colleges which will include the standardisation in the processes of issuing certificates.

Nzimande said the department will also be standardising the registration and admission processes at TVET colleges, with an aim of doing away with different processes applied by colleges.

He explains, “This standardisation process will also help us in the migration from manual to online registration processes in all our TVET colleges.”

We have also witnessed student growth in several colleges that have now begun to embrace the use of technology in their enrolment processes and reducing the number of walk-ins at TVET colleges.

Through the Capital Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant, R3.7 billion has been allocated thus far for the upkeep and repairs of TVET Colleges' infrastructure as well as for the improvement of the IT infrastructure at colleges.

Furthermore, the minister also provided an update on the progress of the building of 16 new TVET college campuses. He noted, “In relation to TVET Capital Projects, a total of nine TVET College Campuses have been completed at a cost of R2.6 billion.”  

These 16 new campuses will be built with the hope of increasing access to and success in the Post School Education and Training (PSET) sector.


Suggested Article:

TVET college sector to increase student intake

The recent statistics released by the Department of Higher Education and Training paint a worrisome picture of a substantial decline in student enrolments within the TVET college sector.




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