Beware Of Bogus Colleges As 2024 Academic Year Nears


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With the final matric results now released, many learners will be looking to find institutions of higher learning. However, not all institutions are as legit as they might seem at first glance.  


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The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) department is warning students to ensure that they do due diligence and research on their institutions of choice after matric.

Students who register with fraudulent college end up with credentials and qualifications that are not recognized by the department or the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

This is why matric learners have been urged to be alert and refrain from registering at unregistered institutions.

According to the department, it has made good progress in shutting down illegitimate colleges, while others are still under investigation.

Beware of bogus Colleges

However, more focus still needs to be placed on the online provision of illegal qualifications and private colleges that have been passing themselves as nursing and medical colleges.

Director of Registrations at the Department of Higher Education Dr Shaheeda Essack says that students should consult with the department via the online registers to verify whether the institutions are registered or not.

Should students have trouble accessing the websites, they can contact the department’s toll-free number on 0800 872 222

Essack says that to identify whether an institution is legitimate or not students should also look at what its infrastructure looks like, adding that if the college lacks the basic levels of professionalism, it should immediately raise a red flag.

Students should ask the college to refer them to past students and alumni, so that they can get a better sense of what it is the college offers. 

Those who have fallen victim to bogus institutions have to report them to the department and file a case with the police. 

“If the fees paid are in the region of +- R20,000 they can go the small claims court and claim for a refund, otherwise they’d have to speak to an attorney.”

Other organisations that provide information on legitimate and illegitimate providers include, the South African nursing council and the SAQA, which plays a huge role in verifying online credentials and qualifications.

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