Anger over dissolution of Wits course

The cancellation of a short course at Wits University has angered a group of students.
The cancellation of a short course at Wits University has angered a group of students.
Image: Gallo Images

A group of professionals who completed a communications course with the Witwatersrand University (Wits) in 2017 have been left fuming after they were told that their course was not accredited.

The group, which mainly consists of government communication officers, enrolled and completed a five-month course in Government Communications and Marketing at Wits School of Governance.

However, they were angered when they were informed by the institution that all higher education institutions in the country received a directive from the Council on Higher Education last year that prevented them from using national qualification framework (NQF) levels against short courses which do not lead to qualifications or part-qualifications.

An e-mail sent to the professionals and seen by Sowetan read: "Therefore, although the design of our courses has been done by pitching the course at a selected NQF level, we are unfortunately not able to note that anywhere currently."

Professor Trevor Fowler, the head of the executive development unit at the Wits School of Governance said the institution offered short courses and did not offer qualifications.

"These short courses are certificates of competence and attendance and are approved by the university. This authority was delegated by the South African Qualifications Authority to Wits University," Fowler said.

He said subsequent to this, Wits abided by the directive and removed any reference to NQF levels from all their short-course certificates and advertising.

However, Thato Mofokeng, who enrolled in the course in 2017, said the institution was disingenuous.

Mofokeng was part of the group that completed the course last year.

"We didn't sacrifice and work hard for attendance certificates. We do not need competence certificates because we're competent in what we already do and do not need Wits to validate that," she said.

An invoice for the course dated February 18 2018, indicates that the course is offered by the Executive Education of the Wits Governance School and is aligned to a postgraduate diploma/honours programme.

The invoice further indicates that the five-month course costs R37500 and spanned from May to October 2017.

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