South West Gauteng College is a public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), formerly, FET college, operating under the auspices of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in terms of the Continuing Education Act, Act No.16 of 2006, as amended. The College is accredited by Umalusi and several Sector Education and Training Authorities (Seta’s) to offer education and training, mostly in the FET band (NQF Level 2 to 4). Some programmes are offered in the Higher Education band i.e. the N4 to N6 levels.
With its head office located at Molapo Campus, Soweto and campuses spread through Soweto (3) to Roodepoort (2) and Randburg (1), the College is a real citadel of education and training for communities in its wide catchment area and beyond.
With the distance learning and e-learning mode, driven through the Technisa Campus in Randburg, it is no exaggeration to say “we now surface everywhere!”
Starting from 2007, the (FET )TVET colleges have been offering the new three year TVET curriculum, which culminates in the awarding of the National Certificate (Vocational) [NC (V)] to students. This qualification is opening two doors to the successful students. Since their education will have had a deliberate vocational slant, the students completing the NC (V) Level 4 qualification are able to enter the job market. The first cohort of NC (V) graduates came out at the end of 2009 and was received well by the economy.
The Level 4 NC (V) graduates are also able to proceed to the Higher Education and pursue some post-NQF Level 4 education at universities or universities of Technology, depending on their results in Level 4. If they choose this route, they do so on a very strong technical foundation, which they have obtained from their three years at the College. The entry requirements for Higher Education for students who have completed NC (V) Level 4 qualification can be obtained from the College’s Student Support or Marketing Offices and in the College Prospectus.
The important thing is that if one wants to follow a vocational direction, either in Engineering Studies, Business Studies, or Utility Studies, one does not need to stay at school until one has passed Grade 12, since colleges are offering a three-year vocational qualification. To enrol for this qualification, one only needs to have passed the minimum of Grade 10, but the qualification is more suitable for learners with a higher school grade, e.g. Grade 11 or even Grade 12.
The qualification will give students vocational training culminating in an NQF Level 4 qualification, which will open doors to the world of work for them. Students are not able to enter this National Certificate (Vocational) at Level 3 or Level 4, even if they have passed Grade 11 or 12 at school. They have to start this qualification at Level 2, and continue with it for three years, until they complete the NQF Level 4 NC (V) qualification, which is where they will be awarded the NC (V) certificate.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has also made millions of rands available for bursaries. Any NC (V) student may apply for a bursary, subject to a means test. The means test determines if the student is needy and therefore qualifies for assistance in the form of a bursary. The bursary does not only consider economic need, it also factors in the student’s scholastic academic capability. So, good performance (results), after enrolment, guarantees continuation of the bursary until completion. The DHET bursaries also cover N-courses for needy and academically capable students. It is a condition of the bursary that the recipients commit to their studies and attend their lectures and classes regularly.
The drastic skills shortage in the economy has resulted in the Department allowing colleges to continue enrolling students in the N-courses (Report 191 NATED Courses) in Engineering, from N1-N6 and N4 to N6 in Business Studies and Utility Studies. This arrangement is not intended to dissuade students from NC (V) to N-courses, even though the N-courses appear shorter than the NC (V) on the surface. Prospective students must note that whereas the NC (V) is a complete qualification incorporating some practical learning in a workplace, after completing N6 at the College, for a student to be awarded an N6 Diploma, he/she must find a workplace to do experiential learning for a period of 18 months.
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