Scam alert: Don’t fall victim to bogus colleges, warns education dept

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Bogus colleges are mushrooming all over South Africa, the Department of Higher Education and Training has warned as it embarks on a countrywide public awareness campaign.

It has urged students and parents to first verify if institutions are registered with the department.

“The message to students is to verify if the private college, the programme they offer and the site or branch at which the programme is offered, and if the institution is accredited with the Quality Council (QC) and/or the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and/or the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO),” explained media liaison officer Lunga Ngqengelele.

“Students should also verify those institutions by looking for the certificate of registration from the department on the premises of the college. The information on the certificate can be verified with the information on the registers which are available on the department’s website.”

Students were also urged to look for the SETA or QTCO qualifications, or to contact the relevant SETA or QCTO directly.

“Students also need to be wary of how long the institution has been established, the infrastructure of the building and how professional the staff are in terms of engaging with students, responding to queries, maintaining records and the administrative and financial systems,” said Ngqengelele.

He also noted that students should verify if lecturers are qualified and if the establishment makes exaggerated claims and promises about jobs and salaries.

They should also demand to see how many graduates are performing in the labour market and ask to speak to them and other students and graduates.

“They should … report any wrongdoing to the regulator and warn other students as well,” Ngqengelele said.

This article was first published on news24.com