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Figure 2 DfEE projection of funded places in higher education until Signals of a faltering expansion may have been behind the failure of some institutions to recruit up to their maximum aggregate student number MaSN in September It was a device introduced in to control expansion of full time undergraduate numbers by setting an upper limit to registrations, exceeding the number results in financial penalties. What are the implications for the Labour strategy if this falter turns out to be a full stop?


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The first task of the new body was to attempt to bring in a new funding methodology that would provide transparency and equity of funding for all higher education providers. The funding model was and is and was a major driver of higher education policy. It is widely accepted that higher and middle household income groups have benefited considerably from the expansion of higher education. Access by average to below average income groups stubbornly remains resistant to encouragement into higher education. While the current progressive tax structure exist it will remain the case that the lower income groups will unknowingly contribute higher levels of taxation to fund higher education compared to their wealthier middle and upper income groups.

This can best be seen in the table below which shows clearly that there has been little change to the up take of socio economic groups IIIm, IV and V. The existing funding model provided a means by which widening access could be promoted through increased funding for those institutions wishing or able to widen access.

To what extent is there an interest in the socio-economic groups identified for increased access provision? An interpretation advanced by Archer and Hutchings for why some students reject higher education relates to the limitation on access by the university itself. They suggest that there are two concepts of university life on offer but only one available to the working class student. One was of Oxbridge campus universities pleasant environments in which middle class student There is a risk of stratification of provision within higher education.

The identification of those institutions suited to research or teaching or widening access. To encourage all HEIs to take part in widening participation HEFCE have provide a financial inducement to encourage those HEIs currently not engaged in widening participation to become active participators. Will the challenge be accepted by those HEIs targeted?

How well prepared will such institutions be to cope with the particular demands and expectations from students from such diverse backgrounds? The policy was predicated upon the principal that those who benefited from higher education should take responsibility for some of the cost of that education. Within the year a new system of student support had passed into the statutes. What has been impact on recruitment and retention on those groups regarded as the most financially disadvantaged in society? Has the introduction of tuition fees increased problem of access and retention? Is the loan sufficient to support a student on a full time degree course?

What are the pressures on the student to secure part time employment which then conflicts with their study? Professor Callender I think it is fair to say that the DfEE perceive student loans to be income and not debt. It only becomes debt when a student leaves university and graduates. The issue is whether such a model of economic rationality reflects the reality of the way students think and behave My concern is the extent to which changes in government policy, in terms of student funding, may in some way militate against that overall objective.

That is my concern. It is because of the move from grants to loans that students have built up this substantial debt. My concern is about whether worries about debt, and thoughts about debt in advance of going to university, may deter some people. There is then the issue about what role debt plays when students are at university in terms of, for example, dropout. Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment, b: para Callender's response shows clearly a concern for the adverse effect of current government policy on student support working against access and retention.

One of the rationales for establishing the National Committee of Inquiry into higher education in was an attempt by the then Conservative Government to resolve the problem of "who should pay for higher education" and the identification of stakeholders. To day, at a time when Government is pressing to increase participation and widening access, an imposed "efficiency gain" placed on each institution with regard to its funding allocation appears to provide a paradox.

HEFCE funds higher education institutions through a block grant based on full and part time undergraduate and postgraduate taught student FTEs. Strong evidence exists that the unit of funding per student FTE has been reducing year on year. The question implied a less than satisfactory provision in some circumstances or at least a quality that might contribute to poor retention rates in certain institutions.

Chairman Is there a danger that we are getting less good retention because of less good teaching because we are just not paying enough for our university teachers? What is your view on that? Professor Sir Howard Newby I do not know of any evidence that teaching standards have declined in universities. On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence to say that we are facing increasing difficulties in a labour market obtaining what I would call our fair share of the best and brightest of the present generation that is moving out into employment Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment, b: 65 para The Higher Education Statistics Agency collects data on behalf of the Teacher Training Agency and Higher Education Funding Council for all publicly funded students registered on programmes of study defined as higher education.

The coverage extends to all universities and colleges and, since the initiatives on widening participation, it also included data from those institutions funded primarily by the Further Education Funding Council for England but who now offer advanced studies defined in the Act. Data collected on the census date of December 1 st each year is used to calculation a range of indicators one of which is retention rate. Is the data collection reliable? Opinions differ on this for example in his response to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment, b on the robustness of the HEFCE benchmark data Professor Newby was critical of the use of post code analysis to determine socio-economic status:.

For instance, the analyses of the HEFCE did of benchmark performance; there are very serious reservations about the quality of that analysis and the assumptions that it makes. Do you recognise those reservations? I do not want to get too technical about this, the social scientist again. Nut there are issues about using postcodes on the assumption that everyone within that postcode is from a homogenous social background.

The decision to leave early is rarely a simple decision and frequently involves a multi layered set of factors. This is contrary to the coding frame available in returns to HESA where the filed "reason for leaving" offers a single option selection and is a required field for students who leave a programme of study before successful completion of their studies.

At the point when a student is leaving, it is frequently the case that, although several of the options may apply, one code is selected over the others. The majority of UK studies on retention have been quantitative is design usually providing correlations of reason for leaving against another factor such as gender or age etc.

Qualification on entry. There is strong negative correlation indicating that students with weak "A" level score are more likely to leave early than those with high "A" level scores. Subjects studied. There is a strong correlation of certain subjects with low retention rates such as Engineering and others with high retention rates, such as medicine. Age of student on entry. Evidence that mature students are more likely not to complete their course of study compared to those who come directly from school. Other quantitative studies e. Yorke et al. Poor quality of the student experience; Inability to cope with the demands of the programme; Unhappiness with the social environment; Wrong choice of programme; Matters related to financial need; and Dissatisfaction with aspects of institutional provision.

Yorke, in his oral submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment b , suggested that access and maturity on entry load heavily onto non-completion as do qualifications on entry. Additional support, the Principal of University College Worcester, suggested that for students at her college the main reasons for "dropping out" was linked to poor choice of course; financial hardship and with the associated unwillingness to take on debt.

This was particularly true for mature students who might have complex family problems associated with their personal domestic arrangements. Yorke in his opening comment to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment b identified a tension between widening access and retention:. Yorke So I think if the Government's intention, as it is, is to widen access, it needs to look at the way in which access might actually impact on non-completion. And there are two angles here, I think, governmentally, that are in tension; one is the desire, obviously, to be efficient as possible and not to waste public money, the other one is actually to open up access, and there is a bit a tension between the two.

Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment b: 1 para 1. The authors go on to remind us that where this happens both the student and the society from where they come can be diminished. As with the U. Failure to complete a course has obvious personal consequences, but there other interested parties notably the State as a primary stakeholder and the higher education institutions. What interests do the State, HEIs and the student have?


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In the next section I will consider each one in the next section. The concurrent interest by NAO and Parliamentary Select Committee in matters relating to student access and student retention might seem to be a concerted effort by central government to reshape policy relating to higher education. It is clear from the line of questioning followed by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment that there is a determination to understand where higher education is currently located; what forces are acting upon the system and the tension between the desire to open up access, retain the same level of efficiency while maintaining quality.

It may not be possible to achieve all three without incurring additional costs or slipping down the performance tables of the OECD! It is significant to note that prior to interest in higher education non-completion or the obverse - retention was minimal. The inquiry consisted of two methodological approaches; one conducted by Ozga, J. The National Audit Office in signalled their intention to establish studies on widening access and retention. The aim of the National Audit Office is to make recommendations to the Select Committee of the House of Commons on value for money as it relates to public spending.

Concern about global comparative performance in higher education can be seen from the emphasis placed by HEFCE on October 6 th in their press release on Performance Profiles. The banner headline proclaimed, " UK retains leading international position for student completion rates. Evidently global comparisons are viewed as important providing government with an important benchmark. There is a clear steer from DfEE that a stratified higher education system is unacceptable.

It is interesting to speculate whether a return to a binary system of this form would be politically acceptable and tolerated by those in the mass provision. Scott, 9. Does the acceptance of a two-tiered system of higher education in the UK, as outlined by Scott, provide the anticipated next stage of development?

Improving community college completion rates by addressing structural and motivational barriers

The institution has the responsibility to interpret policy and to respond to that policy in line with its mission. Although not a primary stakeholder I have argued earlier in this paper that intuitional interests can be regarded as second order stakeholder status. As such there is vested interest in the out turn of policy decisions and the impact that such decisions may take with students.

Planning and growth in student numbers within the public sector of higher education is regulated through the application of a funding formula and a maximum funded student population per institution that imposes a limit to growth - the MaSN Maximum Aggregate Student Number. Increases in student numbers can only be achieved through a series of annual bids that are prescribed by HEFCE against know funding from the Treasury.

The bids are open competitions set against national criteria or policy directives. The targeted funding allocation given by HEFCE to specific HEIs to encourage them to take a greater percentage of students from widen social background needs to be interpreted in this light. If, as has been earlier hypothesised, there is a high correlation of those characteristics such as maturity on entry, qualifications on entry previous family experience of higher education with those students who leave early, then it can be argued that those institutions who recruit significantly from such groups will be at greater risk as far as comparative retention rate are concerned.

Institutions take these decisions against considered decisions within their organisations and these become embedded in their mission statements. Augmenting other information available with the Performance tables published by HEFCE a provides possible evidence that the playing field is not particularly flat, favouring as it does those pre Universities in terms of the amount of money available per student and the impact this has on student staff ratios.

Based upon the impact on funding there are two types of student withdrawal; within the year and between years. Both profoundly effect the financial situation of a HEI, but in different ways. Consider the within year withdrawal first, this effects the cost of teaching students who leave before the census date when the tuition fees become liable for payment.

The second relates to both within year as well as between year retention; any loss of student numbers will require increased student intake the following year to bring the funding model back to status quo. This provides detailed information on undergraduate and postgraduate taught , full and part time students registered between August and December. Those students registered on the census date are liable to pay tuition fees. By agreement if the student leaves before that census date then the institution cannot claim fees for that student.

This single fact means that at an institutional level there is a financial interest in retention. Each institution will have calculated the number of students admitted in September to achieve the correct student number on the census date. The cost of marketing, recruiting and admitting a student onto an undergraduate course can be a substantial cost. HEFCE 's calculation of block grant relates to an all year figure which provides an opportunity for an institution to admit additional students in a particular year to achieve the MaSN if, for what ever reason, the retention in a particular year has been low.

There is a cost involved in this additional recruitment and hence the occasional use of the term wastage rate when referencing withdrawal of students from a course. Within the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment, focus of attention settled from time to time on the issues of quality of teaching. The issues concerning the Committee related to the quality of teaching and to the increased casualisation of teaching staff. Effective teaching involves more than the act of delivering a lecture before a class of students.

Beyond that act role there are many other functions that need to be performed to provide support for the teaching enterprise. With casualisation it is argued, "is there not a risk that support functions to teaching will be either lost or the burden on those tenured staff not fully committed to research would be unbearable? At the heart of the concern about student retention is the student. The experience of "leaving early" is not painless and not without personal tension and anxiety.

It could be argued that for no other reason there is a need for a greater emphasis on the causes of poor retention. Although anecdotal one student stated that her decision to come to university was much influenced by the positive reception she received from admission staff at clearing. She had solid "A" level grades but had failed to secure a place at her first choice institutions. She had decided not to take up a place at here insurance institution.

Delighted with the positive vibrations she received she started her programme of study albeit slightly later than most of the other students frequently the case with students recruited through clearing. Problems set in within the first days of her course. The positive encouragement was now replaced with staff pre-occupied with other issues like timetables, starting their teaching programmes, meetings and all the other issues associated with the start of new academic year.

Residential accommodation became an issue for her because all the college-managed accommodation had been allocated, she had to find her own. Other students following her courses had started to form friendship groups and were not as sensitive as they might have been to her as a latecomer. Despite this negative experiences at the start of her studies this student stayed on course and hopefully with not become part of my data set of early leavers!

It is widely expected that with the introduction of student tuition fees, students might increasingly demand for value for money. Evidence of this change has yet to be noted. It has been argued that students can never be consumers in the real sense of buying their product, the concept of student as consumer is more in the idea than the action.

Mr St Aubyn, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee, reflecting on student as customer raised an interesting dichotomy for Professor Sir Howard Newby to consider:. Mr St Aubyn It does seem to me your customers are coming to you in all shapes and sizes. Is the response to that a one size fits all policy is the best practice that universities should follow to ensure that the typical student, if he or she exists, will be retained on the course, or is the key to the response that there is as diverse a sector for them to choose from as can possibly be achieved?

Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Employment b: 64 para At the heart of the decision to stay or to leave is the experience itself. Here there seems to be a vacuum in the research available in the UK which attempts to deconstruct the experience of those students about to leave or those that have left. The main focus of current research is on statistical analyses based on questionnaires or on raw HESA data.


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There is a need for detailed research listening to the experience of the student and attempting to understand from that experience problems and issues that are foremost in their mind during deliberation and formation of a final decision to leave early. The authors summarize the practical application of these results:. Although the participants in our research only wrote about two topics mental math and psychology , there is no reason to assume that similar results cannot be obtained in other domains, such as history, English, or chemistry.

Importantly, the students who most often concern teachers—those who perform poorly and have low performance expectations— benefited the most from our intervention, and those with high performance expectations were not harmed by it p. In short, EV interventions are promising strategies to help improve student motivation. This research illustrates the positive academic outcomes associated with helping students identify the applicability of their coursework to their lives outside the classroom.

Students benefit from perceiving a connection between their coursework and their lives. The implications for improving community college completion rates are two-fold. First, this research on motivation underscores the urgency of addressing structural barriers that make it difficult for students to identify and complete a course of study.

When students, particularly those with low expectations, identify the relevance of their coursework to their lives, they perform better and express more interest in the subject they are studying. Yet, this is precisely the type of connection that can be difficult to make in cafeteria-style settings, where paths of study are unclear and resources are confusing to navigate. Structural reforms can help students identify and progress along clear pathways from enrollment to graduation.

In this environment, it may be easier for students to identify a clear connection between their coursework and their own lives, which may have positive outcomes for their performance and interest in their program of study. Second, EV interventions may be useful tools for instructors and perhaps advisers in a community college context. These interventions can be tailored to specific courses, and if implemented properly, EV interventions may help students perceive value in their coursework, increase their interest in the course, and improve their performance. These positive outcomes may be building blocks that help students complete the necessary courses to earn a postsecondary credential or degree.

As Section 4 discusses at length, this is not to say that including EV interventions within courses can singlehandedly solve the completion problem; far from it. However, these interventions may be valuable components of a broader strategy to create a college environment conducive to student success. Community colleges can play a pivotal role in providing individuals with viable pathways into the American middle class, maintaining a strong workforce, and building a competitive 21 st -century economy. Delivering on this promise requires innovative solutions to increase the number of community college students who complete a postsecondary credential or degree.

Delivering on the promise of community college requires innovative policy solutions to increase the number of students who complete a postsecondary credential or degree. The final section of this report offers several policy recommendations about how to address structural and motivational barriers to college completion.

These recommendations are designed to help college leaders, employers, researchers, and policymakers identify steps to improve community college completion rates. Among employers, these lessons may be particularly relevant for those who partner with community colleges to create career pathways and for those who hope to do so in the future.

Challenges that students face in navigating the college environment may extend to identifying and completing education and training programs developed in partnership with employers. In developing these programs with college partners, employers can benefit from the insights discussed in this report and the subsequent recommendations. The structural problems discussed above—such as unclear pathways from enrollment to graduation, enormous student-to-adviser ratios that make it challenging to provide one-on-one support, and a lack of easily navigable support services—are fundamental barriers to college completion.

In providing clearer pathways from enrollment to graduation, addressing the structural barriers may help to alleviate some of the motivational barriers that students face. On a more granular level, colleges can also address motivational barriers by supporting instructors, employer partners, and advisers in implementing strategies like the EV interventions described in Section 3 that help students draw connections between their coursework and their lives.

However, without addressing the structural problems inherent in a cafeteria-style model, fundamental barriers to completion remain. The importance of implementing structural changes bears underscoring. Encouragingly, research suggests that EV interventions that are well tailored to specific courses can produce positive outcomes for students in those courses Hullemen et al. At the same time, it is likely that addressing structural barriers is essential to realizing the full potential of EV interventions in a community college context.

Take, for example, the proposition of including EV interventions in student orientation. Orientation may be optional, and students do not necessarily take advantage of advising services offered during this process Bailey et al. Incorporating EV interventions into orientation, while useful in theory, may have limited impact if a small share of incoming students participate. Similarly, in cafeteria-style colleges, this type of intervention may be difficult to implement effectively through advising sessions, as students may not meet regularly enough or long enough with advisers for these interventions to work.

Student Retention Research: A History Lesson

As part of a guided pathways model where students meet regularly with advisers for longer sessions, however, implementing EV interventions through advisement services may be feasible. Advisers could assign a writing prompt or incorporate into their conversations questions designed to help students think about the relevance of their coursework to their career and education goals. There is a strong and convincing case that the cafeteria-style model impedes students from completing credentials and degrees Scott-Clayton ; Holzer and Baum ; Bailey et al. Results from these evaluations can provide insight into whether and how to tailor the original ASAP program to community colleges outside the CUNY system.

Drawing on this growing research base, colleges can adapt tested models of the guided pathways approach to meet their needs. In addition, Bailey et al. These recommendations can inform pilot programs designed to test new approaches that address the problems inherent in the cafeteria-style model. One dimension of the guided pathways approach is improving advisement and student support services. The ASAP program, for example, reduced the student-to-adviser ratio. However, similar changes may be impractical for many community college systems given their potential cost.

Fortunately, innovative research that leverages emerging technology has identified scalable, cost-effective mechanisms to provide students with targeted support. Innovative research that leverages emerging technology, like artificial intelligence, has identified scalable, cost-effective mechanisms to provide students with targeted support.

They offer detailed guidelines for how to adapt these lessons, which can serve as a starting point for colleges seeking strategies to strengthen their student support services.

Early student withdrawal: The reasons students give for leaving the university

More broadly, this work provides a foundation for leveraging emerging technologies to reach many more students than was possible before. Lindsay Page and Hunter Gehlbach recently partnered with Georgia State University and AdmitHub to reduce summer melt using Pounce, an artificial intelligence chatbot that uses individually tailored text message outreach Page and Gehlbach These impacts mirror previous summer melt interventions but with far fewer staff. Thus, one viable avenue for improving student support and advisement services is through tailored outreach and support using technological innovations.

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While these examples focus on reducing summer melt, there is reason to be optimistic that this type of outreach may be valuable in additional areas of student support services. Indeed, Bailey et al. EV interventions that help students see the relevance of their coursework for their lives can have powerful effects on student outcomes, including increased interest in a subject and improved academic performance. Particularly when paired with a guided pathways approach that helps students navigate the college environment, this type of intervention may help students perceive the relevance between their coursework and their career and education goals.

Correct implementation of EV interventions is important to obtain the desired results. Recent research on a different type of intervention delivered in an education setting suggests that the level of fidelity matters for student outcomes Horowitz et al. Thus, pilot programs should include adequate training for those who implement the intervention.

Ideally, these pilot programs will use a randomized control trial approach to assess the effect of these interventions on relevant student outcomes see Scrivener and Coghlan for a brief discussion of the benefits of randomization , such as academic performance, interest in the course and the relevant field of study, persistence, and graduation rates. In addition, colleges, employer partners, and research partners should consider the following questions when developing pilot programs:. In addition to knowing how well a program works , college leaders, employer partners, and policymakers need answers to practical questions about how to implement effective programs.

Embedding the following types of questions into evaluations of guided pathways reforms would provide valuable insight into how to implement these changes:. Furthermore, employers that partner with colleges to provide training and education programs related to career pathways may be interested in drawing on the guided pathways approach in their work with community colleges.

Questions that may serve as a starting point for exploring these possibilities include:. Research-practice partnerships may be particularly valuable in developing, implementing, and evaluating guided pathways reforms. Ultimately, partnerships between researchers, colleges, and employers can lead to programs based on a deep understanding of the student population, the college system, and the local labor market.

Working together, these partners can develop evidence-based innovations, continuously improve their programs, and share their results with the wider research, policy, and education communities. This work can help create a shared road map to reducing barriers to community college completion. Improving community college completion rates should be a top priority for policymakers at all levels of government, employers, community colleges, and the philanthropic community.

Earning a postsecondary credential or degree provides a gateway to higher average earnings and opens up career pathways for graduates, while higher completion rates help strengthen the American workforce. Yet, far too many students who enroll in community college do not complete a degree. While not the subject of this analysis, academic and financial barriers loom large for many students. Ongoing efforts to improve the quality of public K education and to make college more affordable are essential to improving completion rates.

As discussed at length in this report, improving completion rates also requires addressing structural and motivational barriers that students face. Transitioning from the cafeteria-style model to a guided pathways approach is a promising strategy to reduce structural barriers.

These structural changes can pave the way for helping students overcome motivational barriers Oyserman and Lewis In addition, through EV interventions, instructors can help students perceive the relevance of their coursework for their lives. Community colleges hold enormous potential for students across the United States.

Realizing this full potential is vital for students to obtain the education and training they need to pursue their career goals, obtain good-paying jobs, and contribute to a vibrant American economy. Moving forward, we must invest in innovative, evidence-based solutions, enable students to complete postsecondary credentials and degrees, and ultimately help them achieve their academic and career goals.

The author is deeply grateful to Elizabeth Bell and Neil Lewis for their invaluable feedback on this project and to Hana Dai, Bethany Kirkpatrick, Francesca Royal, and Kim Truong for their excellent research assistance. This project was made possible through the generous support of the Arconic Foundation. Brookings recognizes that the value it provides is in its absolute commitment to quality, independence, and impact.

Activities supported by its donors reflect this commitment. Aelenei, Cristina, Neil A. Lewis Jr, and Daphna Oyserman. Social demographic correlates and identity consequences of interpreting experienced difficulty as importance. Last modified March American Institutes for Research. Bahr, Peter R. New York, NY: December Bailey, Martha J. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, Belfield, Clive, and Thomas Bailey.

New York, NY: Billings, Meredith. Boykin, Daniela, and Amy Prince. Bradley, David H. Washington, D. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Carnevale, Anthony P. Prow, Castleman, Benjamin L. Cellini, Stephanie R. Assessing the employment and earnings of for-profit college students using administrative data. DOI: Chetty, Raj, John N. The City University of New York. Cohen, Patricia. February 21, Deil-Amen, Regina, and James E. Deming, David and Susan Dynarski. Policies to Increase the Postsecondary Attainment of the Poor. Duncan, Arne and John Bridgeland.

Improving community college completion rates by addressing structural and motivational barriers

Dynarski, Susan M. Measuring the effect of student aid on college attendance and completion. Goldrick-Rab, Sara. It is expected that the due diligence process will be finalised in the first quarter of All universities have also been requested to continue implementing processes to enable academically successful students, who have outstanding student debt, to continue with their studies in The financial sustainability of the quality of universities will be at risk if students do not pay their fees and outstanding debts. Universities have been requested to manage student debt through fair and transparent debt management policies and processes to ensure that outstanding student debt is recovered over a reasonable and mutually acceptable period.

The private sector and other funders are encouraged to help support deserving students, especially those who do not qualify for NSFAS funding, but that require financial assistance to complete their studies. The NSFAS Administrator and his team have been working around the clock to ensure that there is a smooth registration period in NSFAS will work closely with financial aid offices at institutions to ensure that deserving students are provided with funding decisions as soon as possible. University students that qualify for the bursary will receive funding for the actual tuition cost plus a set amount for study materials.

Students may also qualify for subsidised accommodation and meals or transport capped at specific rates. Qualification for subsidised accommodation, meals or transport will be managed in terms of the accommodation and transport policy of institutions. Since there is insufficient university owned or managed accommodation available, not all students who qualify for a subsidy will be accommodated in university owned or managed accommodation.

Guidelines for the management of student funding for poor and working-class students have been developed and will be implemented to ensure that the funding is effectively and efficiently managed to support poor and working-class students. The contract will have binding obligations attached. These will include academic requirements as well as service requirements. Central Applications Clearing House. Prospective first-time entry students who have applied for space in a university but have not been able to secure a space in their institution of choice, will be referred to the Central Applications Clearing House CACH for assistance.

Students who did not apply to an institution can also utilise CACH for assistance, particularly for referral to career guidance services. The CACH service was developed to assist learners who are eligible for higher education studies. It targets learners who have applied for space at a university but have not been offered a place at the institution of their choice, after the Grade 12 results were released. Learners looking for spaces at PSET institutions can contact the toll-free call centre on , or send an SMS with their name, ID and contact number to for the call-back service.

Where places exist, and applicants meet the admission requirements, institutions will contact learners to offer them available places. The CACH service is linked to the Khetha Helpline, which can provide further advice, guidance and information and assist anyone interested in pursuing higher education and training opportunities or other skills development opportunities in the PSET system. Learners will be guided through possible alternative options at TVET colleges, artisan training and other skills development opportunities. We call on all prospective students who have not been able to secure a space in a post-school education and training institution and who are interested in studying further in , to register with the CACH to receive assistance.

Do not waste your time, money and energy rushing to campuses to try to register if you do not have a firm offer of a space. Increase your chances of finding a placement by contacting the CACH. Private Higher Education Institutions. They offer higher education and vocational programmes, across diverse fields of study. These range from Higher Certificate to Doctoral studies through both distance and contact modes of delivery.

The number of registered PHEIs changes from time-to-time, depending on the economy, the accreditation status of programmes and compliance with regulations. The list includes details of the accredited programmes they may legally offer, as well as accredited sites of delivery. All prospective students wishing to study at a PHEI need to check the register to ensure that the institution is operating legally, and is accredited to offer the programme. It is also important to check that the programme you wish to register for at a legally registered PHEI, is accredited by the Council on Higher Education.

Private Colleges. The Department of Higher Education and Training has registered a large number of private colleges to ensure that these private colleges provide quality education and training to students. Some private colleges operate without being registered. To close down unregistered private education and training institutions, the Department is working closely with the South African Police Service and other law-enforcement authorities. The Department advises students who want to enrol at private colleges to check the registration status of such private colleges with the Department through its toll-free number: 87 22 The website address is www.

Students living with special needs. The Department of Higher Education and Training is committed to expanding access and success for students living with special needs in PSET institutions. This fund can be utilised to provide assistive devices as well as financial support for tuition, learning materials and living expenses. The Department is also committed to improving the capacity of TVET colleges to accommodate and serve students with disabilities by developing the funding model for students with disabilities.

Furthermore, this holistic approach takes into account the built environment, the use of specialised technology, training in appropriate pedagogies as well as capacity building of lecturers. Artisan Learnerships and Apprenticeships. The National Development Plan furthermore requires that by at least 30 qualified artisans be produced per year.

In South Africa, there is a growing trend of learners, who have completed their NSC and utilised learnership or apprenticeship opportunities to become artisans in the civil, mechanical, electrical, manufacturing or support services career fields. To this effect, learners must continue to seek and utilise a Sector Education and Training Authority SETA or National Skills Fund NSF funded artisan learnership or apprenticeship opportunities to access artisan training in the various fields of engineering and services.

SETAs will be providing 93 opportunities in various learning programmes such as learnerships, bursaries, internships, skills programmes, apprenticeship, etc. Out-of-school youth who wish to enter the world of work, or need to increase their skills capabilities, can also consider the options of learnerships, apprenticeships and skills programmes.

Among these, are programmes that are offered through apprenticeship or learnership agreements between the student, TVET colleges and employers. National Skills Fund. These programmes should be linked to scarce and critical skills areas, especially with regards to artisan development. The National Skills Fund has, for the academic year, provisionally allocated more than R million towards undergraduate bursaries.

Students must be enrolled in scarce and critical skills areas related to priority occupations. Students wishing to make use of these bursaries are advised to enrol for critical skills study programmes. The NSF is also committed to expanding access and success in our institutions for students who have special needs.

Higher education is not about getting a job - Fred D'Agostino - TEDxUQ

The Central Application Clearing House is ready to assist prospective students with their placement as from 4 January It was designed and introduced by the Department of Higher Education and Training to assist individuals who want to access university, college and skills development opportunities. It is also useful for prospective students who had applied and met the entry requirements based on their Grade 11 results, but find that they now do not meet the entry requirements when their Grade 12 results are released. CACH also provides access to skills development opportunities, including artisan programmes and learnerships.

Institutions with skills development or study opportunities will then select potential students from the CACH database and make direct contact with those selected. The CACH service follows the following different phases:. Phase 2: The agents will call a prospective student back free of charge, from the contact centre and verify if the person called by asking three security questions. Thereafter the agents will register all requested details on the CACH database, indicating the learners' chosen field of study and the province in which they wish to study.

Phase 4: Where places exist and applicants meet the requirements, institutions will contact applicants directly to offer them available places. Tuesday, 4 December The applications system was open for an extended period until Sunday 2 December I am pleased that the application process has performed well in terms of systems, applications received, as well as user experience. As all are aware, the start of the academic year was difficult, with NSFAS facing numerous challenges. The tardiness in resolving these challenges resulted in the scheme being placed under administration for 12 months, starting in August That decision led to the appointment of Dr Randall Carolissen as the Administrator.