THE University of Venda has allegedly "defrauded" about 100 students of about R1,8million by enrolling them for a degree that is not accredited.
The students are registered for a Bachelor of Agri-Business Management, which is a four-year degree. The tuition fees for the course are about R11000 a year.
The university is not accredited with the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to offer it. SAQA confirmed that the university was not accredited to offer the degree.
Legally SAQA and the Council for Higher Education must approve and accredit degrees offered by institutions of higher learning.
The university has been offering the unaccredited degree since 2003.
This means that some students have already graduated unaware of the state of their qualifications.
The students are now worried that they have spent their money on a degree that will not be recognised.
They said they were made to understand the degree was genuine and were shocked when management confirmed it was not accredited.
"This is a disgrace," said one of the affected students.
"I can't believe that the whole university has offered a counterfeit degree."
Another student who had just written her final paper said: "I can't tolerate the fact that I wasted my time and my parents' money."
University's Takalani Dzaga said the degree was registered under the Bachelor of Agriculture but some members of management confirmed that the course was not accredited.