The Western Cape public further education and training (FET) colleges were recently invited to report on various key issues to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training at a strategic session.

Advocate Malale (Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training) opened a strategic session where colleges had to report on successes and challenges with regards to governance and management, student enrolment and registration, pass-, through-put and certification rate, the administration of student financial aid process (Department of Higher Education and Training FET Colleges Bursary Scheme) along with infrastructure development plans, the credibility of examinations, partnerships with industry, work integrated learning, student accommodation as well as the academic support initiatives.

The positive growth of the sub-system within the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) was commended while certain areas for improvement was identified which will be addressed on a national level. The Western Cape colleges were further commended for the positive improvement on student results and the success with regards to student placement as part of Work Integrated Learning initiatives.

Trends that were discussed included registration dates and the possible extension thereof, the investigation of the funding of skills programmes (currently only ministerial mandated programmes are funded) and the increased role of student leadership in governance structures.

“It is, annually, a highlight to report to the Portfolio Committee because growth is evident despite the various challenges facing FET Colleges,” said Corrie Myburgh, Principal: Boland College. She continued to state: “It is wonderful to see that all our sister colleges in the province show positive growth especially in the strategic fields of work integrated learning, student support and the investigation on the expansion of artisanal development”.

Corrie Myburgh in the hot seat at Parliament