The Board mandates the USAf Office to take action on accreditation delays

23-07-19 USAf 0 comment

The Board mandated the USAf Office to write a letter to three state agencies responsible for approval, accreditation and registration of new or revised academic programmes, respectively, with intent to raise its concern around the delays in especially accrediting and registering new or revised programmes within public universities.  The three players are:

  1. the now Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), whose responsibility it is to assess and approve universities’ applications for new or changed programmes, taking into consideration a number of factors including the Programme and Qualification Mix (PQM) of the concerned institution;
  2. the Council on Higher Education (CHE), which clears new academic programmes for accreditation, once such programmes are approved by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, and
  3. the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), whose role, following completion of the two processes above, is to proceed to register the approved new or changed academic programmes[1].

This decision was triggered by reports of delays within the HEQC and CHE, resulting in unexplained delays in granting accreditation of new advanced diploma and master’s programmes. The Board heard that CHE processes were now taking up to a year – extremely frustrating — considering that CHE-accredited programmes still needed to undergo registration through SAQA, before the programmes could be implemented within universities. The Board further heard that at SAQA, the registration of new programmes was now taking no fewer than seven months.

The USAf Office would seek an urgent meeting with the parties concerned to find resolutions as these delays were posing a risk for universities and students.  

[1] DHET, 2016. Guidelines for applications for PQM clearance of new or changed academic qualifications. Available on

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