Right of Reply: Registered colleges face potentially damaging and groundless claims
Oxbridge Academy ─ a private Further Education and Training (FET) college registered by the Department of Higher Education and Training ─ has been blasted by the Health Professions Council of South Africa, inferring that the academy is a fake institution that lacks accreditation. Such an inference is factually inaccurate and could have been avoided if Oxbridge Academy had been contacted for comment.
The HPCSA implicated the college by warning students about Oxbridge Academy’s credentials and about it not having accreditation as an institution that can offer a course in dental practice. This is something the college does not claim or offer relevant courses in, yet it has been confused in inaccurate statements with the college’s skills course in medical administration, which includes dental receptionist training.
Like most colleges in South Africa, Oxbridge Academy in Stellenbosch offers accredited qualifications and non-accredited courses. We are clear in our descriptions as to the purpose and status of each course, as well as the accreditations it has. These are communicated openly on our website and in the registration material students receive. This material does not in any way mislead students, nor does it claim to offer professional qualifications for which the college is not accredited.
The HPCSA also warned that Oxbridge Academy is not accredited by the professional board to offer dental practice assistant training with reference to a position as a dentist’s chair assistant. However, the course in question is plainly described as teaching students the skills needed to apply for a position in the reception area of a dental practice and performing administrative duties. The course information is also clear on the fact that it is not a qualification that leads to the HPCSA’s dentist’s chair assistant registration.
The difference between job-orientated courses and accredited programmes are distinct and well-defined and we urge prospective students to make informed decisions regarding the outcomes of the courses that they enrol for and to make sure that the requirements of their intended profession are outlined in the relevant course.
Bogus colleges are making the good ones look suspicious
Oxbridge Academy does not condone unregistered health practitioners treating members of the public. The HPCSA included a warning in their statement regarding possible risks to the public if students with qualifications from fake colleges are allowed to practice healthcare. In the event of such cases, it is the healthcare institution’s responsibility to be thorough in appointing only registered employees to treat patients and Oxbridge Academy does not want any association with degree or diploma fraudsters.
Oxbridge Academy supports the view that non-accredited courses should not be confused or compared with accredited learning, as they are seldom directed at achieving similar objectives. FET courses are vocational or occupational by nature; the student receives education and training with a view towards a specific range of jobs or employment possibilities, acquiring new skills relevant to their current occupation.
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