Higher education urges students to consider FETs

The department says these colleges offer courses that will help students target gaps in the job market..

FILE: Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Higher Education Department says students who do not get accepted by universities should opt for further education and training (FET) colleges instead of taking a gap year.

Just under 160,000 2014 matriculants from public and private schools have managed to pass their exams with university entry.

The country currently has 27 traditional universities, including the newly launched Sol Plaaitjie University in the Northern Cape and the Mpumalanga University.

The Department says there are over 50 FET colleges countrywide.

The department's Khaye Nkwanyana says these colleges also offer courses that will make students appeal to the job market.

"These colleges also offer economy-related courses and those who graduate from there mostly they get employed on a higher rate in these days."

Nkwanyana has also advised that students should also consider other fields of study that are less saturated.

He also says the addition of the newly established two universities will help lighten the load.

The department also says the Sefako Makgato Health Science University in Gauteng will also start operating later this year.

DA TO REQUEST EMERGENCY FUND

The Democratic Alliance says, it will request Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to set up a R1 billion emergency fund for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas).

The department will provide R10.2 billion this year to Nsfas to help fund tertiary education studies for students.

But the opposition party says this will only cover 50% of students eligible for funding.

Last year, the University of Johannesburg and the Tshwane University of Technology were hit with violent protests, when students expressed their dissatisfaction over a shortage of funding from the scheme.

The DA's Belinda Bozzoli says the vast majority of those expected to enter universities to further their studies don't have the means to do so.

"What we've got here is the students who managed to make it through 12 years of schooling and achieve a bachelors pass. All are expecting to go to higher education of some sort or another but the vast majority can't afford it."