Passing matric with an exemption? Studying online is the way to go
Distance learning at Stadio Higher Education is a reliable way to ensure your academic future even amid the pandemic
The 2021 matric results are due in January, but the future remains uncertain even for those who gain a bachelor’s pass, or university exemption, as SA’s legacy tertiary education system cannot accommodate every qualified matriculant — a situation compounded by Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
Yet the employment rate for South Africans with a tertiary qualification is 30 percentage points higher than for those who have only a matric pass, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Only a shift to online learning will open more doors for matriculants, says Stadio Higher Education chief academic officer Divya Singh. “Best-practice blended learning, which is a mix of online and in-person learning, is a winner all round. It allows more students to study, and do so more cost-effectively, from where they need to be.”
Last year, four private SA higher-education institutions — Southern Business School, Embury, Lisof and Prestige Academy — were consolidated into Stadio to offer both contact and distance learning across several faculties and campuses.
Stadio now offers more than 50 accredited qualifications across five faculties — commerce, administration and management; education; arts and design; science and technologies; and law — and 10 campuses in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town for more than 20,000 students.
Classes are taught both online and in person to let students qualify in ways that suit them from wherever they are based. There is a straightforward online admissions process without application fees, and places are available right up until a course starts.
Distance learning is here to stay
After the arrival of the pandemic in 2020, universities agreed that many students performed better via distance learning than through face-to-face studies, and that SA universities had to start adapting to such new teaching methods made possible by technology.
Because Stadio follows best practice in online learning, its courses were already Covid-19 compliant even before the pandemic. So, despite the lockdowns, its students have thrived.
Singh believes this shift to online learning will make quality tertiary education more widely accessible in SA. “It can allow more students to study,” she says.
Possible downsides include the need for self-discipline; a reliance on technology that might not be affordable or available to many in SA; and the essential role of hands-on training in some courses. “But these are all remediable with the smart use of technology, good funding models and blended learning that puts some classroom work into the mix,” says Singh.
“With proper systems, good technology and adaptable teaching staff, we can actually improve standards and make sure we more effectively look after students who may be struggling.”
To speak to a Stadio student adviser, call 087 158 5000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply and register to start your studies in 2022
Making the move from high school to a higher education institution is already challenging, but starting 2022 without somewhere to study can feel altogether overwhelming! Just pause and breathe: you can still secure your space now.
Here are four tips to help you apply and register with ease:
- First map out the career paths in which you’re most interested. This will help you find an institution with the right courses for you. Stadio offers more than 50 qualifications available on its campuses nationwide.
- Visit a Stadio campus close to you – they all comply fully with Covid-19 measures. The student recruitment advisors will help you apply and register by guiding you through the process and giving you all the assistance you need.
- Remember to take your documents with you. You will need your ID and your statement of results. Stadio applications are free – and you can review all the fees online.
- Bombard your Stadio student advisor with questions. Make sure you know when classes will start, when your orientation date is, and what you will need when you start your studies.