Frequently Asked Questions

What are colleges?

Colleges are academic institutions where students can further their education. In South Africa, colleges are regarded as institutions of higher learning. This means that they are at a higher level than school education. Colleges may or may not offer both accredited and non-accredited courses. In order to offer an accredited course, the college needs to be registered with the correct quality assurance body. 

How does the education system fit together?

  • Preschool – Before you can start primary school, you have to finish your Grade R.
  • Primary School – Primary school runs from Grade 1 to Grade 7
  • High School – High school runs from Grade 8 to Grade 12
  • Further Education – Once you obtained your Matric certificate, you can further your education at a Technikon, College or University.

What qualification do you need to enrol at a college?

In South Africa, n learner is required by law to attend school until they have successfully completed Grade 9 or until they are 15 years of age. This means that learners are allowed to enrol for certain college and technikon courses. Even if students did not complete their Matric year with a certificate, they still get an opportunity to further their education.

Students without a Matric certificate can further their studies at  College SA. College SA is a distance learning college that offers both accredited and non-accredited programmes. To find out more about College SA, visit www.collegesa.edu.za

How does college differ from other academic institutions?

Academically speaking, colleges are between high school and university, which implies that entrance criteria for college would not be as stringent as those for university programmes. As explained above, certain college courses are offered on a level equivalent to Grade 10 and up. Whereas university programmes all require at least a Matric certificate with exemption and certain minimum grades. Colleges are therefore more accessible to the average student.

What does “Accreditation status” mean?

It is advised that you always verify the accreditation status of the college you wish to study at. In South Africa, education providers are monitored and regulated by the Department of Education through Umalusi.

Umalusi is the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training. When a college is accredited by this body, it means that their study programmes have been approved and that they comply with the set standards for that subject. Obtaining a qualification (be it a certificate or diploma) from an accredited education provider is very valuable for your future career.

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