As the grade 12 examination season concludes, the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation has advised prospective students to investigate whether colleges are registered before enrolling.
There has been an increase in the amount of unregistered institutions of higher learning offering qualifications to unsuspecting students. This is often only realized once students have completed these qualifications This leaves them without valid qualifications and also out of pocket after paying for these bogus courses.
The department's spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi says that the consequences for unregistered colleges are dire. He warned that these fake institutions will be closed if they are found to be operating illegally.
He said, “I must say that instantly we investigate and upon finding that there is such an instance we close that institution immediately then we open a criminal case against those individuals involved”.
Information on institutions of higher learning including private colleges are available in the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation’s website . All prospective students are encouraged to do their research before enrolling in an institution of higher learning.
Mnisi explains that prospective students should also request a certificate of registration before they register at an institution.
The certificate of registration requires the following information…
-Place of Offering
-Venue of Offering
-Information about the courses the institution is allowed to offer
Check the list of registered colleges by clicking HERE.
Msini added that if parents and students have been notified that their qualification they got is not valid, they must immediately inform the department.
He added, “upon doing so there is a letter that the department will issue to confirm that such a college is a bogus college. then they can use that to approach the courts and depending on the amount of money that they've paid, they can approach the small claims court or they can approach any regional or magistrate court for them to get their money back”.
Minister Blade Nzimande also expressed his concern at the amount of fake institutions conferring honorary qualifications on individuals.
He said, “I have already requested the Council of Higher Education (CHE) to investigate and advise on appropriate action on all the reported cases of the awarding of these bogus honorary degrees”.