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FET, TVET, IIE ... What does this mean?


All these abbreviations and names and all you know is that your future falls under one of them. Understanding the different types of institutions is important when you're planning your future. 


Navigating where you want to take your education during high school can already come across as a scary activity to you. However, don’t let the pressure crush you just yet. Tell the little voice in the back of your head that you’re in charge. With their being so many terms to learn, that means you have so many options. South Africa has a range of activites for students wanting to continue their education and gaining knowledge about more than just universities would be beneficial to you. 

What does FET mean?

FET Colleges is an old term that was used and has since been changed to TVET. FET Colleges stands for Further Education and Training College where the focus is on more vocational and occupational aspects provided from Grades 10 to 12 including career-oriented education and training offered in technical colleges, community colleges and private colleges.

There are both public and private colleges in the further education and training level. Students wanting to study at a private college should ensure that college is registered and that the course they you are doing is accredited.  

Read our article on FET Colleges here

And TVET? 

TVET translates to Technical and Vocational Education and Training. The student receives education and training with a view towards a specific range of jobs, employment or entrepreneurial possibilities. The TVET website states, "Under certain conditions, some students may qualify for admission to a University of Technology to continue their studies at a higher level in the same field of study as they were studying at the TVET College."

Colleges operating under the term TVET are public colleges which benefits from state funds and subsidies. Students at TVET Colleges are eligible for funding from NSFAS if they meet the other requirements.

Read our article on TVET Colleges here

So what is IIE then?

The IIE is the Independent Institute of Education which is a private higher education institution operating across 21 sites offering more than 90 registered and accredited higher education programmes from Higher Certificate to Masters level. The colleges that operate under this are: Varsity College, Vega, IIE MSA and Rosebank College and are internationally accredited. You have the option of participating in either full-time, part-time or online studies. Their faculties include Commerce, Education, Humanities, Information and Communications Technology and Social Sciences. Along with those, they also have Short Learning, Journal of Teaching and Learning and Distance Education programmes available. 

Visit the IIE website for more information

Okay, so what about Private Colleges then?

A private college is a school that is labeled as independent as it is privately owned. They are usually run as a company that has to make a profit to continue.  Private colleges are generally smaller than public colleges and in South Africa we have many different types of private colleges like the ones under the Independent Institution of Education.  Sometimes private colleges may be more expensive, particulary because NSFAS will not give bursaries for studies there.

One of the advantages of private colleges, and higher education institutions, is that they can offer more specialist diplomas and degrees than public colleges and universities. Some of the private institutions may offer fashion qualifications, or advertising and marketing industry qualifications, which might make it easier to subsequently get a job in that industry. Public institutions generally will offer much more general degrees and diplomas.

All private colleges have to be registered and accredited with the government. Before paying money to a private college, always check that it is registered and accredited with the course that you wish to study. 

Find a list of private colleges here

Remember, what makes an institution the "right" choice really depends on what you want from your qualification and study experience.



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