First and foremost, I wish to congratulate the 2014 matriculants who passed their examinations and especially those who did particularly well. At the same time, I would like to encourage those who have not succeeded to rewrite their examinations or to pursue opportunities in the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) system.
As the Department, we are aware that this is a very important milestone in the lives of young people and therefore would like to make them aware of approximately 425 095 opportunities available to them within the PSET system, i.e. 26 universities, 50 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, and 21 sector education and training authorities (SETAs), which help to promote and fund occupational programmes linked to educational institutions and workplaces.
This is an increase of 28 646 opportunities on the 396 449 opportunities provided in 2014. These opportunities can further be broken down as follows:
– 204 522 new entrant opportunities at universities;
– 44 000 engineering and business studies opportunities at TVET colleges;
– 37 000 national certificate vocational programme opportunities at TVET colleges;
– 85 900 occupationally-directed (apprenticeship or learnership) opportunities in collaboration with TVET colleges, SETAs and employers;
– 16 250 artisan opportunities; and
– an additional 37 423 learning programme opportunities in the form of 3 380 apprenticeships, 4 513 bursaries and 29 530 learnerships will be further provided by SETAs.
This is the first cohort of 532 860 Grade 12 learners who wrote the CAPS-aligned final examinations for the National Senior Certificate achieving a pass rate of 75.8% with 403 874 learners satisfying the requirements of the National Senior Certificate with the following notable achievements:
– 150 752 learners qualifying for admission to Bachelor studies at higher education institutions;
– 166 689 learners qualifying for admission to diploma studies at higher education institutions; and
– 86 022 learners qualifying for admission to higher certificate studies.
Many of those who have met the entrance requirements for university study will be pursuing degrees, diplomas and higher certificates at one of 26 public universities. This includes the Sol Plaatje University and University of Mpumalanga, both of which are new universities entering their second year of operation, and the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), which was promulgated as a juristic person in May 2014 and will open its doors to its first student cohort in January 2015. SMU is the third new university to be established since the dawn of our democracy in 1994. SMU incorporated the former MEDUNSA campus of the University of Limpopo on 1 January 2015, and will have its first intake of over 1 000 new students registering for the 2015 academic year. All continuing students of the former MEDUNSA campus of the University of Limpopo will be registered as SMU students in 2015. Therefore this new comprehensive health and allied sciences university will start its life with a total enrolment of just over 5 000 students.
The 26 public universities offer a diverse range of degrees, diplomas and higher certificates to prepare the matric class of 2014 to take their rightful place in the country’s economy. The national average annual increase in first-time entering students at higher education institutions from 2011 to 2015 is 4.5%, with first-time entering students making up approximately 25% of the total university student population. In 2015, our public universities will provide access to approximately 204 522 new entrants wishing to pursue their studies across all general, technical and professional fields including Business and Management; Science, Engineering, Agriculture and Technology; Humanities, Social Sciences, the Arts and Education.
Those who have completed Grade 12 with a minimum of a higher certificate achievement can consider studying further at a TVET college for a National Diploma with 44 000 study opportunities available for both Engineering and Business Studies. 37 000 study opportunities are also available for individuals wishing to pursue a vocational programme which leads to a National Certificate Vocational qualification.
The National Development Plan requires that by 2030 at least 30 000 qualified artisans are produced per year. In South Africa there is a growing trend of matriculants utilising learnership or apprenticeship opportunities to become artisans in the civil, mechanical, electrical, manufacturing or support services career fields.
The post-school education and training sector through the SETAs and National Skills Fund has committed over R1.7 billion in the 2015/16 financial year to opportunities in these artisan fields that will result in grants for over 16 250 artisan learners.
Matriculants who have an inclination to become an artisan, e.g. a motor mechanic, plumber, electrician, chef, hairdresser, etc. can register at the National Artisan Development Support Centre (NADSC) in Kwa-Thema by going to their website: http://nadsc.dhet.gov.za, contacting the NADSC call centre on 011 736 4400 or by e-mailing copies of their qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also approach any of the student support services offices at any of the public TVET colleges for more information.
However, it is critical to note that in order to be accepted into an artisan programme, matriculants must have completed Mathematics and Science as subjects as industry requires a pass mark of 50% or higher. Artisan work has become much more technologically advanced and requires a higher skill level. For those matriculants that do not have Mathematics and Science, but have passed and wish to consider a career as an artisan, they can also register at NADSC for the Generic Trade Preparation Programme, which is a bridging course being implemented at public TVET colleges. This bridging course includes Mathematics, Engineering Science, a technical subject like electronics, life orientation, computer skills and a short course on artisan development legislation.
Out-of-school youth who wish to enter the world of work or need to increase their skills capabilities, can consider the options of learnerships, apprenticeships and skills programmes.
TVET colleges also offer occupationally directed programmes that are accredited by the sector education and training authorities (SETAs) under the auspices of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. Among these, are programmes that are offered through apprenticeship or learnership agreements between the student, TVET colleges and employers. TVET colleges have set aside 85 900 study opportunities for this mode of delivery.
SETAs will further be providing 37 423 learning programme opportunities in the form of 3 380 apprenticeships, 4 513 bursaries and 29 530 learnerships. Annexure B provides a breakdown per SETA of these learnership opportunities.
In pursuit of the Department’s mandate to increase access and success in TVET college learning programmes and transform TVET colleges into institutions of choice, sites have been secured for the construction of 12 new TVET college campuses and the refurbishment of 2 existing campuses. The development and refurbishment of TVET college infrastructure will include student accommodation facilities and modern teaching and learning lecture rooms, workshops, simulation rooms, resource centres and recreational centres.
Contractors for 3 sites in Thabazimbi, Nkandla A and Bambanani, have been appointed and the sites have been handed over to the respective contractors. Construction has commenced at the Thabazimbi and Bambanani sites. The awarding of contracts to successful bidders for the remaining 13 sites will be completed in the first quarter of 2015.
One of the most successful schemes established by government to assist students from poor disadvantaged families with academic ability, is the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which provides loans and bursaries to students at all 26 public universities and 50 public TVET colleges throughout the country. NSFAS will be funding 205 000 first time entering and continuing eligible students at universities and 200 000 students at TVET colleges in 2015 by providing student loans and bursaries totalling R9.5 billion. In 2014, NSFAS provided student loans and bursaries totalling over R8.3 billion, which excluded the once off allocation of R1 billion for the servicing of the 2013 shortfall of R700 million and 2014 shortfall of R300 million.
In addition to the funds that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme received from the funds voted by Parliament, the National Skills Fund (NSF) makes further annual allocations aimed at funding the full cost of study towards critical skills programmes, most needed for the growth of the economy. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has been allocated over R562.9 million for bursaries for scarce and critical skills for the current year from the NSF. This funding is made available through the financial aid offices in universities and students wishing to make use of these bursaries are advised to enrol for critical skills, which include science, commerce, health science, engineering, etc.
The Department is committed to expanding access and success in our institutions for students who have special needs. At our TVET colleges, for example, government pays 80% of the programme cost of the student’s choice with an additional allocation being made dependent on the type and severity of the disability. In addition, NSFAS has earmarked R69.3 million in the 2015 academic year to provide financial aid to disabled students in universities.
The Department in collaboration with Department of Basic Education launched the “Apply Now” campaign with the aim of creating awareness of career options, study opportunities and application procedures for post-school education and training. We have reached out to Grade 9 to 12 learners in 6 812 public secondary and combined schools in the country distributing the “Apply Now” booklet.
This campaign complemented the Career Development Services Helpline (0860 356 635) and Khetha radio programmes which ran on 10 SABC African languages radio stations including Afrikaans, social media platforms and career awareness events. The National Career Advice Portal (NCAP) (http://ncap.careerhelp.org.za) provides access to career information on career pathways, occupations and relevant education and training opportunities.
The Department is operating the Central Application Clearing House (CACH) once again in 2015. The CACH Call Centre and website went live on 2 January 2015. The CACH service has been developed to assist learners who qualify for higher education studies, have applied for a space at an institution, but have not been offered a place at the institution of their choice after the matric results are released. It is also accessible to those learners who did not apply before the closing dates last year and now find that they are eligible for higher education studies. Learners looking for spaces in the university education system can contact the toll free call centre on 0800 356 635 or send an SMS with their name, ID and contact number to 49200 and they will be telephoned back free of charge. They can also access the system via the website http://cach.dhet.gov.za . The CACH service will verify the learner’s information and forward it to institutions that still have unfilled places. Where places exist and applicants meet the requirements, institutions will contact learners to offer them available places.
The 2015 CACH service is also geared to provide general career information services, and to assist anyone interested in pursuing further education and training opportunities or other skills development opportunities in the PSET system. Learners will also be offered free career advice and be guided through possible alternate options at TVET colleges, artisan training and other skills development opportunities.
As Minister of Higher Education and Training, I have no doubt that the impact of these initiatives and campaigns, create awareness of and provided useful information about career and funding options for post-school education and training. I want to take this opportunity to urge those who have not passed their Matric to access all the sources of relevant information that the Department has created specifically for them to choose from a range of options available within the PSET system.
The Department of Higher Education and Training welcomes the class of 2014 into the post-school education and training system where learning and growth can take place in our 26 universities, 50 technical and vocational education and tTraining (TVET) colleges and 21 sector education and training authorities (SETAs).
Table 1 below indicates the projected number of first-time entering students for 2015 as published in the Ministerial Statement on Student Enrolment Planning for 2013/14 to 2019/20.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
University of Cape Town
Central University of Technology
Durban University of Technology
University of Fort Hare
University of Free State
University of Johannesburg
University of KwaZulu-Natal
University of Limpopo
Mangosuthu University of Technology
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
North West University
University of Pretoria
University of South Africa
University of Stellenbosch
Tshwane University of Technology
Vaal University of Technology
University of Venda
Walter Sisulu University
University of the Western Cape
University of the Witwatersrand
University of Zululand
University of Mpumalanga
Sol Plaatje University
Table 2 below indicates the SETA Learning Programme opportunities for 2015
Mr Mabo Raphotle
Ms Minah Matlala
Mr Obakeng Mmono
Ms. Morongoe Nkabinde
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS