College furthering the reach of education

Desiree Mentor of Sub-council 19, Pat Francke and Heinrich Magerman at the False Bay TVET College stakeholder's meeting.

As the country faces an ever more pressing need for quality higher education, tertiary institutions face a dilemma: how to reach more students without overcapitalising on new buildings.

False Bay College’s principal, Cassie Kruger, outlined its plan to achieve this balance during a meeting with the institution’s stakeholders last week.

The college, Mr Kruger explained, was building a new campus and using distance learning and night classes to expand its reach.

There are six Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in the Western Cape, three rural and three Cape Town-based, including False Bay.

Mr Kruger was clear that the college’s primary objective was to make sure students could find jobs.

“If we have a popular course of study which everyone passes but it doesn’t result in actual jobs, then we will reconsider that course. We don’t want people qualifying well in subjects that don’t result in actual employment,” Mr Kruger said. “Employment is our aim.” he said. The college is the only one with a boat-and-ship-building course in the country.

Mr Kruger said the overall plan was for all TVET colleges to eventually be open-learning centres, each reaching as many as
50000 students, with wi-fi
available to all students and e-learning forming the backbone of the distance learning that would accommodate most of them.

This is to get as many people studying as is needed, using existing buildings. “However,” Mr Kruger said, “we cannot get away from the fact that a huge percentage of students do not have access to institutions, so we are
in the process of building, and
securing more funds for, the
Swartklip Campus, which will be
the largest artisan training site in South Africa,” he said. That camp-
us, tucked between Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha, would, he said, help the college to meet the needs of 6 000 to 7 000 on-campus students in the day and many more by night as distance learning was incorporated.

So far R180 million has been raised for the project and the campus is expected to be up and running by
next year and at full capacity by
2020.