How government wants to change the way you apply for university in South Africa

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) published the Central Application Service Bill on Friday (18 April) – aiming to make changes to the post-school application process in South Africa.

Post School Education and Training (PSET) refers to all learning and teaching that happens after school. This includes private, public, formal and informal training.

Universities, TVET colleges, private institutions, apprenticeship programmes, and in-service training all form part of and contribute to the PSET sector.

In an attached explanatory summary, the department said that the Central Application Service is a crucial service supporting students to access post-school opportunities and make informed choices.

“The primary aim of the service is to offer advice and serve as an application channel for students applying for post-school education and training (PSET) opportunities.

“The service allows students to apply for study places, pay a single application fee, and facilitate their applications to more than one institution if necessary,” it said.

“In so doing, it will ensure an effective and efficient placement of students across the system.”

The bill states that participation in the Central Application Service is mandatory for all of the country’s PSET institutions and that applicants will pay a standard single application fee.

This fee will be determined at a later date.

Some of the other proposed objectives of the Central Application Service include:

  • Providing all prospective entrants with access to information about qualifications offered at various public PSET institutions. This includes information on minimum entrance requirements, career-related information, and public resources available to prospective entrants;
  • Making the application process across multiple institutions affordable and available to all applicants;
  • Reducing the administrative burden of application processing for institutions;
  • Optimising the placement of applicants in appropriate studies which includes a clearinghouse facility;
  • Facilitating the applications process so that institutions are able to make timely offers to applicants;
  • Improving the predictability of the take-up rate per institution and programme;
  • Providing all potential entrants into the PSET sector a single point for application to all their chosen education and training opportunities in the sector, combined with applications for accommodation and financial assistance.

You can read the full bill below:

Draft Central Application Service Bill by BusinessTech on Scribd


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How government wants to change the way you apply for university in South Africa