Question NW3065 to the Minister of Higher Education and Training

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21 November 2018 - NW3065

Profile picture: van der Westhuizen, Mr AP

van der Westhuizen, Mr AP to ask the Minister of Higher Education and Training

(1) (a) What qualifications will be offered by public technical and vocational education and training colleges on Level 6 of the National Qualifications Framework as was mentioned in the Minister of Basic Education's speech during her response to the State of the Nation Address 2018 and (b) how will the specified qualifications be named; (2) (a) on what date will the qualifications be introduced and (b) what would be the requirements of staff members' qualifications in order to offer these qualifications; (3) (a) what facilities will be needed to offer these qualifications and (b) how would this be financed?


(1 )(a) The White Paper on Post-School Education and Training makes provision for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET} colleges to offer both higher education and occupational qualifications at NQF level 6 on the Higher Education Qualifications SubFramework (HEQSF). Several colleges already offer Higher Certificates at NQF level 5, and some colleges will progress into the Advanced Certificates at NQF level 6. Three colleges offer a combination of NQF levels 6 and 7, i.e. diploma and degree qualifications, in partnership with higher education institutions, as provided for in section 43(3) and 43( 4) of the Continuing Education and Training Act, 2006 (Act No. 16 of 2006). The scale of the provision at NQF levels 5 and 6 is however still small but will be scaled up from 2020 when the funding flow for such students becomes embedded in the integrated funding plans of the Department.

Regarding occupational qualifications, colleges are not in a position to offer NQF level 6 qualifications as yet, and this will only be offered based on demand and for which funding has been secured for delivery, through the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) system. In 2018, eight TVET colleges were offering NQF level 5 occupational qualifications. Most occupational qualifications delivered by TVET colleges are at NQF levels 3 and 4. Major planning and funding injections will be required before firm decisions can be taken to scale up the provision of occupational qualifications at NQF level 6.

(b) The naming of occupational qualifications to better align with the HEQSF nomenclature is under consideration but has not yet been finalised.

(2)(a) A reasonable time for the introduction of NQF level 6 qualifications into the TVET system would be January 2021, given the several elements that are integral to their implementation success, i.e. existence of curricula and learning programmes, learning materials, lecturer readiness, and a clear and co-ordinated system of funding for students enrolled in the occupational and higher education programmes at NQF level 6.

(b) For the higher education qualifications at NQF level 6, lecturers will have to be in possession of an honours degree as the minimum academic qualification to teach at this level.

In relation to occupational qualifications, the qualification itself sets out the requirements for delivering the practical instructional component. Currently, pilot programmes are underway to understand the requirement of lecturers.

(3)(a) For the higher education qualifications at NQF level 6, the major requirement apart from physical space and basic teaching tools will be the need for teaching technologies to support innovative teaching methods. For occupational qualifications, the provision of specialised and modern plant equipment, simulators and practicum rooms will be critical.

(b) In planning for the delivery of the occupational qualifications, funding from the various sources, i.e. the fiscus, SETAs, National Skills Fund and private sector, will have to be factored into a coherent plan of delivery before implementation. For the scaling up of the higher education qualifications that will be offered in TVET colleges in partnership with higher education institutions, the Department intends to provide earmarked grants to the colleges to enrol against set targets.

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