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What is a College?

In America, universities are sometimes also called colleges. In South Africa, however, colleges and universities are completely separate institutions.

A college is an academic institution offering courses in various fields of study. College courses usually aim to prepare students for a particular occupation or vocation, and to equip students with relevant skills.

There are public colleges and private colleges in South Africa. Public colleges are funded by the State, while private colleges are privately owned and funded. Both types of college can offer the same types of qualifications.

College Courses in South Africa:

Colleges in South Africa offer many different types of courses. Below are some examples of the types of courses that you can study at college:

  • Further Education and Training (FET) Certificate courses
  • National Certificate Courses
  • National Diploma Courses
  • Short courses
  • Courses accredited by professional bodies – these are often aimed at preparing students for the professional body’s exams
  • Courses developed by a college itself

In South Africa, colleges do not offer degree courses. Only universities are allowed to offer degree programmes.

Entrance Requirements for College Courses:

The entrance requirements for college courses are generally not as strict as for university courses. University exemption is not required to study at a college. Depending on the course that you want to study, you might not even need to have completed your Senior Certificate. Each college course has its own criteria for admission, which means that you will need to obtain this information from the college or colleges that you are considering studying at.

Some college courses might require a senior certificate, while other courses might only have an age and basic literacy requirement. The entrance requirements often depend on the level of complexity of the course or qualification.

Course Areas:

Below is a list of course areas that you are likely to find in many different colleges:

  • Beauty Therapy Studies
  • Bookkeeping and Accounting Studies
  • Business Studies
  • Child Care Studies
  • Computer Studies
  • Creative Studies
  • Decor and Design Studies
  • Event Management Studies
  • Forensic Investigation Studies
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Human Resources Studies
  • Management Studies
  • Project Management Studies
  • Secretarial Studies
  • Services SETA Accredited FET Courses
  • Sports and Fitness Studies
  • Technical Studies
  • Wedding Planning Studies
  • Writing Studies

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