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LIST OF 46 ACCREDITED COLLEGES ISSUED

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MBABANE – Four tertiary institutions have been denied registration by the Eswatini Higher Education Council (ESHEC), while 46 were accredited.

This is according to the 2023 list of accredited institutions of higher learning issued by ESHEC yesterday during a press conference. The institutions included the Management Training and Development Institute (MTDI), Wesco College, St John Ambulance and the Christian Family Church International (CFCU) Bible College. ESHEC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Lorreta Mkhonta, during the press conference yesterday, urged emaswati to check the credibility of a tertiary institution before enrolling. She emphasised on the importance of enrolling in an accredited institution. ESHEC issued a list of 46 accredited private institutions with over 100 programmes offered by them. The list also had nine public institutions that were accredited by the council.

Provision

ESHEC was established in 2015, in terms of the Higher Education Act of 2013, to regulate higher education provision in the country. Its mandate is to develop and implement a quality assurance system for higher education, covering among other areas, registration, accreditation, institutional audits, quality promotion and setting of standards. It ensures that all institutions of higher learning offer programmes and qualifications that meet the required standards and are aligned with national and international standards. The CEO mentioned that some of the institutions that were denied registration did not comply with the set standards of the council. Adding on the list of institutions that were denied registration, Mkhonta said two institutions were discontinued from offering Primary Teachers’ Diploma programmes (PTD). These institutions were Birch Cooper Graduate Institute and Corporate Development and Training Centre. Worth noting, is that the then Teaching Service Commission (TSC) Chairperson, Simanga Mamba, had urged institution to discontinue offering teaching courses, PTD in particular, because the profession was saturated. Institutions were urged to look at offering vocational and technical courses.

Mkhonta noted that during this time of the year, some parents and students started looking for institutions that offered the tertiary qualification they required in line with the career they would want to pursue. It had been noted in the past years, where people enrolled in some of these institutions, more especially private institutions, only to find that the institutions offered bogus qualifications or did not comply with the set standards, thus wasting money and time for both the parent and the student with a useless qualification. “We are cognisant of the fact that during this time of the year, parents, guardians and students go about looking for spaces in higher learning institutions. We would like to caution emaSwati that before they enrol, they should verify the credibility of that institution,” she said.

Mkhonta mentioned that ESHEC ensured that every year they published the list of all credible institutions and the programmes they were accredited to offer. She added that the information was also available on their website found in www.eshec.org.sz. The CEO further stated that they could also walk into ESHEC offices to verify the information. Furthermore, Mkhonta urged individuals who wanted to establish higher learning institutions and the existing ones to following the guidelines stipulated regarding registering institutions as outlined by ESHEC. “We have seen instances whereby institutions offered unaccredited programmes,” she said. She said the danger in that was that it was a waste of resources for the institution, parents and the students.

Recognise

Mkhonta said once they discovered that an institution had never been accredited it meant they were breaching the Higher Education Act of 2013. The Act highlights that for an institution to operate and be recognised in Eswatini, it must be registered. She explained that in cases where an institution breached the law, they did not shut it down immediately. Mkhonta cited the steps that they followed to at least make sure that the institution followed the guidelines and get accredited. The CEO mentioned that the council engaged the institution and cautioned it to get the proper accreditation. But if the endless engagements fail, they then shut down the institution. Mkhonta said that particular institution, however, was not expected to leave the enrolled students hanging but it would then be expected to enrol the students to an accredited institution and further pay the entire fees to the next college or university.

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