Non-Accredited Bogus Training Providers and Colleges : Update

There has been so much in the news recently regarding the DHET and police closures of bogus colleges in South Africa.  For those of you who aren’t yet accredited – 40 non-accredited training institutions have been closed down for operating illegally and there are bound to be more to follow.

Here are some of the recent news articles from various media houses which we believe are worth reading.

SA clamps down on bogus colleges

Friday 19 December 2014 11:14

SABC

The High Education Department says it is investigating about 40 cases of bogus colleges across the country. The department has warned parents to be cautious of unregistered institutions as their children enrol for studies.

The department’s spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana says a task team has been set-up to clamp down on illegal institutions.

“We have already opened more than 40 cases of colleges that are mushrooming all over the country and we have shut them down and we are in the process of shutting down others.

“So we know that during this time they advertise themselves because they want to enrol as many students as possible because they want to make a lot of money. We are warning students not to go there without checking with the department.”

Nkwanyana says those registering at private colleges must check the status of the institutions.

“We have a dedicated toll free number 0800 872 222 and a dedicated team that will tell you on the spot whether that college is actually a registered college or not, and that if it is registered does it offer the programme that you are looking for in terms of the course that you want to pursue.”

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Daily News – Siyabulela Dzanibe

19 December 2014

Bogus colleges FET colleges

 

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has warned prospective students of “bogus” colleges – including US-based online institutions – after laying criminal charges with the SAPS and FBI.

These colleges, said the department, used a range of methods to mislead the public.

“The recent trends identified by the department are the number of online operators committing internet fraud by purporting to offer degrees in 15 days using the name and logo of the DHET,” said the department’s spokesman, Khaye Nkwanyana.

Most of these college websites were run from the US, he said.

The department has published a list of more than 40 colleges, local and international, on its website as a means to warn the public about alleged unscrupulous providers and their modus operandi.

“The department has also filed cases against these bogus colleges with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the USA,” Nkwanyana said.

He said colleges referred to the FBI had all removed the name and logo of the DHET from their websites and Facebook pages.

Some of the listed colleges’ websites had either been shut or suspended. Nkwanyana said the number of bogus colleges remained constant.

“The challenge is the changing manner in which bogus colleges operate, often hiding behind registered institutions and offering their programmes. They also provide incomplete nomenclatures of programmes, removing the words diploma, higher certificate (or) degree, to avoid getting caught,” Nkwanyana said.

“The current threats are the online operators from the USA who use the name and logo of the DHET and registered institutions offering unregistered programmes.”

There was also anecdotal evidence of colleges selling qualifications, but the cost of the sale was not known, said Nkwanyana.

He said the government had put structures in place – such as the “National Bogus Colleges Task Team” and similar teams across all nine provinces – to shut down illegal colleges.

The department’s director of investigations, Shaheeda Essack, said on Thursday: “Some of the colleges registered may be registered as private FET (Further Education and Training) colleges, but they are offering unregistered higher education programmes or making fraudulent claims.”

Referring to the “name and shame” list seen by the Daily News, Essack said: “All the colleges listed have not been registered to provide higher education. Their registration as private FET colleges is irrelevant and it does not allow them to offer higher education programmes.”

Nkwanyana said so far they had opened criminal cases against two suspect colleges in KwaZulu-Natal, while two others would be investigated soon.

He said the department had to follow due legal process by issuing letters of warnings to these colleges, then filing cases with the SAPS if the provider continued to operate. Police would then conduct their investigation, and prosecution would follow.

He said Empangeni Commercial College was closed in October and Style Design College was shut in 2012, and last year after it re-opened. However, the case against Style had “stalled” since the owner had “fled the country”.

KZN police spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane, yesterday confirmed a case of fraud had been opened in respect of the Empangeni college on October 15, but that “no arrest has been made and the investigation is continuing”.

To avoid falling prey to bogus colleges, Nkwanyana said parents and prospective students should contact the department at 0800 87 2222 or visit its website, www.dhet.gov.za for a list of registered institutions.

Police to clamp down on ‘bogus’ colleges

2015-01-14 13:23   NEWS24

 

Polokwane – Limpopo police have warned that it will not tolerate bogus further education and training colleges and will deal harshly with those operating them.

“We are going to deal harshly with bogus colleges, we are not going to tolerate them,” said Colonel Ronel Otto.

She said police were keeping an eye on institutions that have popped up around the province.

She urged residents and students to report dodgy institutions to authorities.

Two matters involving fake colleges were currently pending in Limpopo courts.

One of them related to a fake nursing college where the owner was arrested.

The other case involved an engineering college that was not accredited.

– SAPA

Officials to clamp down on bogus colleges

ECR : 15 January 2015 at 11:14 by Zongile Mthimkhulu – Education officials say they are working together with law enforcement agencies to clamp down on bogus further education colleges.

The Higher Education and Training Ministry says some colleges continue to fraudulently operate scamming thousands of students in the process.

The department’s Khaye Nkwanyana says all higher learning institution need to be able to produce proof of their accreditation.

”Those that have an accreditation with us should have a logo of higher education and training even on the smaller parts of their books. But also they should have a reference number [and] an operating licence that anyone can demand first to see whether it is accredited by us,” he said.

Students are being urged to report bogus institutions.

 

Dec 18 2014 9:32AM  NEW AGE

Many calls on bogus colleges

Lerato Diale

The New Age has received a flood of complaints from students and colleges following an article in which the Department of Higher Education and Training named and shamed bogus tertiary institutions.

Both students and colleges said they were shocked to discover that their institutions were listed among the bogus colleges.

One of the students, who is registered at the Academy of Sexology based in KZN, said the students were planning to meet the college’s management to discuss the issue.

In response, the department yesterday clarified the matter.

Spokesperson for the Higher Education Department Khaye Nkwanyana distinguished between two types of bogus colleges: those that were not registered and those that were registered but were offering additional courses for which they were not accredited.

It becomes problematic when institutions are registered for certain courses then go out and offer additional courses for which they are not accredited. 

“This constitutes fraud because they have to go through verification and quality assurance processes before they may offer such courses,” Nkwanyana said.

This comes after the department published a list of more than 40 bogus colleges, most of which operated online.

He said bogus colleges had mushroomed 10-fold over the years and the department was clamping down on them. Nkwanyana said it was the department’s task to protect potential students and not allow them to fall victim to bogus institutions. The department has urged people to call its call centre to check if their institution of choice is registered.

“When they call, we will be able to tell them on the spot as per our register if these institutions are registered,” he said.

He said the department would not hesitate to lay criminal charges against any institution that operates illegally.

Unicollege, which was named on the bogus colleges list, said it was shocked to see its name there. The institution said it was registered and accredited by Quality Council for Trades and Occupation Council.

leratod@thenewage.co.za