Higher Education Profiles - Registered Private Higher Education Institutions June 2016
The Legal Framework
In terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act. No 67 of 2008 “the NQF Act”), the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which is the system into which the South African qualifications and part qualifications are organized and recorded, is divided into three (3) sub-frameworks. The 3 subframeworks are: The Higher Education and Training Sub-Framework (HEQSF), the General and Further Education and Training Sub-Framework (GEFETQSF) and the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF).Each sub-framework is the responsibility of a Quality Council. The three Quality Councils (QCs) are: Council on Higher Education (CHE) responsible for higher education qualifications (Levels 5 – 10), Umalusi responsible for general and further education and training qualifications (Levels 1 – 4) and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) responsible for trades and occupations qualifications (Levels 1- 8). Among others, these QCs are responsible for accreditation of qualifications falling within their sub-frameworks as well as accrediting private institutions that wish to offer their qualifications. To enable the Registrar to register private institutions in compliance of section 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) makes decisions as to which qualifications subframework a qualification belongs to so as to avoid a situation where private institutions may offer qualifications or part qualifications without registration of such qualifications on the NQF.
The QCTO may delegate its accreditation functions to a “delegated accrediting authority”, such as a Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA), a professional body or another entity but the final endorsement and certification will be issued by the QCTO as the responsible QC. The Continuing Education and Training Act, 2006 (Act. No. 16 of 2006) (“the CET Act”) require that private institutions be registered with the DHET in order to operate legally, over and above being accredited by the HEQC (CHE) and Umalusi respectively. Therefore, accreditation of qualifications and the ability of the institution to deliver the qualifications for private higher institutions (PHEIs) and private colleges is a means towards registration and it does not represent or replace registration for them. Meanwhile, private institutions that offer qualifications that fall on the sub-framework of the QCTO, which is on the OQSF, i.e,(the sub-framework for trades and occupations)are not required to register with the DHET and according to the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No.97 of 1998)(hereafter referred to as “the SD Act”), under which they are regulated, they must be accredited by the QCTO as an accredited provider only.
In a likely event that a private institution offers qualifications from the three sub-frameworks, it has to satisfy in respect to a specific qualification the requirements of that QC that relate to any one of the three Acts: HE Act, CET Act and SD Act.
Please note that CHE and DHET data tends to be published three years in arrears even though the HEMIS database is maintained each year by all HIE's.