Damelin and City Varsity among deregistered SA colleges

Popular SA colleges Damelin and City Varsity deregistered by the department

Many South African students have been left stranded after it was announced that popular colleges Damelin and City Varsity have been deregistered by the Department of Higher Education.

Group of students graduating iStock photo
Group of students graduating iStock photo

Over the years, many South African students have fallen victim to bogus institutions. 

There are also students who have fallen victim to tertiary institutions that were registered but got deregistered due to not obliging with the requirements of the Department of Higher Education. 

Sadly, some South African colleges have also been deregistered, leaving thousands of registered students stranded. 

The Department of Higher Education director-general, Nkosinathi Sishi, reportedly canceled the registrations of Damelin College, City Varsity, Lyceum Colleges, and Icesa City Campus on Friday. 

This is because the colleges failed to submit their annual financial statements in 2021 or 2022 or complied with the law. 

The colleges will have to close by the end of 2024. 

Sadly, this puts thousands of students at risk with their qualifications. 

READ: Higher Education department cracks down on illegal colleges

Unfortunately, when an institution is not registered, the students' qualifications become invalid. 

The South African has also stated that 'according to the regulations for the registration of private higher education institutions under the Higher Education Act, once an institution has been deregistered, it must notify all students within 14 days and provide them with transcripts of their academic achievements, additionally they have to reimburse students for the education they could not access'.

It also reported that Minister Blade Nzimande recently told the Daily Maverick that Educor institutions were under investigation as the department has received many complaints from students of Damelin College.

To check if a college/institution of higher learning is legit, it must: 

- Be registered with the Department of Education. 

- It must be accredited by Umalusi or Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA), or any other Quality Council. 

- The qualifications must be registered on the NQF by SAQA and students should ask for the SAQA NQF identity numbers. All qualifications must be registered on the  National Quality Framework (NQF). The NQF is a system for ranking the quality of your qualification. The Western Cape government states: 'The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is the system that records the credits assigned to each level of learning achievement in a formal way to ensure that the skills and knowledge that have been learnt are recognised throughout the country.'

The Independent Institute of Education (IIE) states that ‘to legally offer higher education qualifications in South Africa you need to be registered with the Department and your qualifications need to be accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee and registered on the NQF'.

To show that an institution of higher learning is registered, it is supposed to have a registration certificate. Anyone wanting to enrol at the institution or parents and guardians of students wanting to register are asked to check for this certificate and to verify with the DHET. The certificate must include the following information: Name of the institution, the site, the programmes it offers, and the registration period of the institution.

The DHET also has a toll-free number, 0800 87 2222, that the public can call to check if an institution is registered. 

READ: Prospective students still falling prey to bogus institutions, warns Umalusi

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