Students have 6 268 new realigned qualifications to choose from

Students have 6 268 new realigned qualifications to choose from


18 February 2020

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) completed the registration of 6 268 new realigned qualifications to the 10-level National Qualifications Framework (NQF) by the deadline of 31 December 2019. Thus, higher education institutions and students respectively, can offer and pursue these qualifications knowing that they have the SAQA “stamp of approval.”

The realignment is significant because, in 2009, there was a shift from an 8-level to a 10-level NQF. The move came with the promulgation of the NQF Act 67 of 2008, which replaced the SAQA Act 58 of 1995. The shift to the 10-level NQF was necessitated by the need to accommodate more differentiation in higher education.

Among other things, the 8-level framework allowed for all masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral qualifications to be registered at level 8. The 10-level framework, on the other hand, enabled the registration of masters and doctoral qualifications at different levels.

The NQF Act also shifted the standards-setting and quality-assurance functions from SAQA to the Quality Councils, namely, the:

  • Council on Higher Education (CHE) responsible for higher education qualifications at NQF Levels 5 to 10;
  • Quality Council for General and Further Education (Umalusi) responsible for qualifications in the schooling system and technical       colleges at NQF Levels 1 to 4; and
  • Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) responsible for occupational qualifications at NQF Levels 1 to 8.

The CHE began the process to align higher education qualifications to suit the requirements of the 10-level NQF. The qualifications were grouped according to the number of changes required. Some required minor changes and others needed major changes, including going through the quality-assurance process again before they were registered on the NQF.

Higher education institutions had 10 years to ensure that all the qualifications they offer are in line with the 10-level NQF. It is these qualifications that SAQA registered on the NQF by the 31 December 2019 deadline. If a qualification is not registered on the NQF, it means the institution did not submit it for realignment and registration to the CHE.

SAQA reminds the public that no higher education institution is allowed to offer a qualification unless:

  • The qualification is registered on the NQF by SAQA;
  • The institution is accredited to offer that qualification by the CHE; and
  • The private higher education institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

All NQF-registered qualifications are available on the SAQA website.

Issued by: SAQA​​​​​​​

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Tue, 02/18/2020 – 08:02