Deregistered Colleges Qualifications Still Valid, says Minister

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Graduates who obtained qualifications from some private colleges would have been extremely concerned after the higher education department deregistered their alma maters. However, a recent announcement should put these graduates' minds at ease. 

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The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) have confirmed that qualifications obtained from recently deregistered Educor colleges are valid. This includes qualifications issued or obtained when colleges were registered and those administered during the phase-out period. 

Nzimande said the department is aware of the potential impact its decision to cancel the registration of the colleges might have on the ability of students to complete their qualifications.

The minister therefore wants to assure students that the qualifications issued or obtained during the period of registration and during the phase-out period remain valid and recognised. This was also echoed by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

This means that the four Educor colleges -- City Varsity (Pty) Ltd, Damelin (Pty) Ltd, Icesa City Campus (Pty) Ltd and Lyceum College (Pty) Ltd -- still have an obligation to award the students their qualifications during the period of registration and during the phase out period.

Colleges are also required to ensure that they conclude the remaining examinations or assessments for the remainder of the current academic year

Last week, DHET Minister Blade Nzimande announced that the Educor group of colleges had their registration cancelled for gross compliance failures. This means that Damelin, Lyceum, City Varsity, and Icesa City Campus are not allowed to register any more students.

Nzimande explained that the law allowed for the establishment of private colleges and higher education institutions. However, these private institutions are legally required to be both registered and accredited.

Accreditation is related to the quality of the courses that they offer. Registration is more concerned about the financial viability of the institution to make sure that it can remain operational.

The deregistered colleges failed to provide financial statements and tax documents for the past two years, raising concerns about their financial health.

Minister Nzimande further revealed a significant discrepancy between the colleges' claimed enrolment of 50,000 students and the actual figure of 13,096. They cited ongoing complaints about poor teaching, lack of support, unqualified staff, and student exploitation. 

Additionally, they highlighted unanswered questions regarding inflated student numbers and serious corruption allegations against the college group.

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