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Quality Private Higher Education – Know What You Want And How To Get It

Thousands of students enter private tertiary education institutions every year - increasingly out of choice, but other times because of limited opportunities in the public sector. As prospective students have always done when deciding on which university to attend, private students must be encouraged to similarly ensure they entrust the right institution with their higher education.

Quality private higher education – Know what you want and how to get it  

With an estimated 110 000 students registered in private higher education annually, leaving these students without guidance on how to choose quality courses and institutions exacts a significant but rarely recognised toll on the individual, the community and ultimately the country and economy, an education expert warns.

“Many students would already have been exposed to valuable guidance on how to ensure that an institution is registered and its qualifications are accredited, to avoid becoming a victim of unscrupulous operators,” says Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of the Independent Institute of Education, which is responsible for the academic leadership and governance of education and training on more than 20 registered higher education campuses in SA which collectively welcome more than 5 000 new students annually.

But Dr Coughlan notes that once this first safety hurdle has been successfully navigated, prospective students must turn to understanding what (for each individual) would represent a high quality learning experience. “That will guide you as to what quality indicators you should be looking for,” she says.

“Of course, no institution will advertise itself as being of low quality and virtually none will define what quality means to them, so it is up to you to be clear about what you need and want and then look for those attributes in a college.”

Dr Coughlan says that:

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