Professor Mandla Makhanya: Principal and Vice Rector of UNISA; Cassie Kruger: Principal/CEO of False Bay College; Mr Gwebs Qonde: The Director-General of Higher Education and Training
Through this Agreement, formalised under the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Act, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges -formally known as Further Education and Training (FET) colleges - will now offer Unisa qualifications at their campuses under the authority of the university.
It is through a network of partnerships in the post-school education environment that the DHET aims to deliver on its vision of a coherent system for skills and vocational advancement in South Africa. This is aligned to other key policies oriented to economic and social development, such as those located in the National Development Plan and New Growth Path.
This systemic approach, as outlined in the 2013 White paper on Post-School Education and Training, envisages comprehensive paths for articulation between various qualifications, leaving no dead ends for students. There should always be opportunities for learners to improve their qualifications towards the ultimate goal of economic advancement.
Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mandla Makhanya said as the white paper is an important policy that will shape the future of the country's education system, Unisa believes that this ground-breaking partnership is a practical expression of the objectives of the white paper. "It is a timely manifestation of the cooperation needed to ensure the best possible leveraging and utilisation of our respective capacities and resources to the benefit of our society."
Mr Gwebinkundla Qonde, the Director-General of Higher Education and Training (DHET) thanked the Vice-Chancellor of Unisa and the TVET College Principals for taking the bold steps towards these partnerships, a move which he believes expresses courage and vision on the part of these educational bodies.
"I am delighted to see that the institutions have decided to implement this initiative with level five Higher Certificate Qualifications, which is the ideal level and qualification type to allow students to articulate from school and TVET College programmes into Diploma and Degree studies," said Mr Qonde.
False Bay College will offer the Unisa Higher Certificate in Banking later in 2015.
Mr Cassie Kruger, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of False Bay TVET College, acknowledged the importance of the milestone, saying: "This is marks the beginning of the new relationship with Unisa. We look forward to strengthening and growing our Higher Education programme delivery not only with UNISA but with other universities as well, we have signed a similar agreement with CPUT relating to the delivery of ICT programmes."