The Director-General of Higher Education and Training, Mr Gwebinkundla Qonde, presided over the signing of the Memoranda of Agreement between the University of South Africa (Unisa) and twelve (12) Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in order for these TVET colleges to offer Unisa qualification on their college campuses under the authority of Unisa.
The basis for formalising the partnership between the university and TVET colleges can be found in section 43 of the Further Education and Training Colleges Act (Act 16 of 2006), now known as the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Act.
The Act states that a public college may only provide higher education programmes under the authority of a higher education institution after permission is granted by the Minister of Higher Education and Training and published in the Government Gazette.
Unisa is one of two public universities that have begun to build partnerships with TVET colleges. Mr Qonde thanked the Vice-Chancellor of Unisa and the TVET college Principals for taking the bold step to embark on this partnership, which showed courage and vision within these education institutions.
The White Paper on Post-School Education and Training, released earlier this year, highlights the need to provide a range of accessible alternatives for young and older people in all post-school education and training institutions, where different parts of the education and training system works together allowing learners to take different pathways that offer high quality learning opportunities with clear linkages between schools, Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges, universities, other providers of education and training and the world of work.
"I am delighted to see that the institutions have decided to implement this initiative with level five Higher Certificate Qualifications, which is the ideal level and qualification type to allow students to articulate from school and TVET college programmes into Diploma and Degree studies', said Mr Qonde.