The Council on Higher Education (CHE) is an independent statutory body established in terms of the Higher Education Act, (Act 101 of 1997), as amended. It operates in accordance with the prevailing legislative and regulatory frameworks of the Republic of South Africa and with due cognisance of its obligations and responsibilities in terms of such laws and regulations. The Higher Education Act sets out the mandate and responsibilities of the CHE.
The CHE as an independent statutory body strives to be an organisation nationally and internationally recognised for the quality of its intellectual contribution to and its impact on the development of the South African higher education system through its core functions of advising the Minister of Higher Education and Training, monitoring trends in the higher education system and assuring and promoting the quality of higher education.
The mission of the CHE is to contribute to the development of a transformed, equitable, high quality higher education system capable of responding to the intellectual, ethical and human resource challenges of a democratic society based on social justice principles which operates in a global context.
The main areas of work of the CHE are:
- To provide advice to the Minister of Higher Education and Training on all higher education matters on request and proactively;
- To develop and implement a system of quality assurance for all higher education institutions, including private providers of higher education, which focuses on programme accreditation, institutional audits, national reviews, quality promotion and capacity development;
- To monitor the state of the higher education system in relation to the goals of national policies and international trends;
- To contribute to the development of higher education through intellectual engagement with key issues in a number of activities (including research, publications and conferences) and in partnership with relevant stakeholders.