Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has revealed that five degree programs offered by Walter Sisulu University (WSU) are not accredited.
These are Advanced Diploma in Internal Auditing, Advanced Diploma in Journalism, BSc Honors in Zoology , MSc in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Postgraduate Diploma in Chemical Pathology.
Nzimande on Friday responded to a parliamentary question tabled by DA MP Chantel King last month.
King asked Nzimande to list WSU’s non-accredited degree programs and the outcome of consultations between the institution and the University Council (CHE) on the subject. She also asked if other institutions faced similar accreditation challenges.
In response, Nzimande said the five courses are “continuations of legacy qualifications that have been formally accredited under the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF). “. .
“It should be noted that in 2013 a revised Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF) was published as a guide replacing the HEQF and all higher education institutions had to adapt their old qualifications to the HEQF,” said Nzimande.
He said that new student registrations for the old qualifications could only be accepted until the end of 2019. Thereafter, “the programs must be taught or a new program introduced that will enable continued offerings in the field.”
The five courses fall into this category and “should be in service until new replacement programs are accredited and registered “.
But WSU enrolled students for the courses after the deadline, Nz Imande said. He said the Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Services, which also stems from legacy issues, has not been offered since 2019.
The CHE had recommended the appointment of an assessor to guide the HEQSF alignment processes for the five Review courses.
“Once the evaluator’s report has been prepared, the HEQC reviews the report and recommendations. This process is ongoing,” Nzimande said.
“A full audit of all programs offered by WSU is being conducted to confirm that all programs offered meet the compliance requirements of the three regulatory bodies, ie the Department, meet , CHE and SA qualification authority. This process has also already started.”
He said no similar cases were known to his department and the CHE.
“A data validation project is underway at the CHE to use the HEQSF alignment data validate to ensure that the evidence of accreditation at the CHE accurately reflects what the institutions offer. If discrepancies are identified, the CHE will deal with them in a similar way as above,” he said.
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