CHE Comment on the Green Paper for Post-School Education and Training


1.1 The release of the Green Paper on Post-School Education and Training (PSET) signals a key shift in the evolution and development of the post-apartheid transformation of the education and training system. The integration of the education and training system and its institutional manifestation through the creation of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) provides an opportunity to enhance and strengthen the role of the education and training system in contributing to the development of the knowledge and skills that are essential elements in giving effect to and overcoming the reconstruction and development challenges that face South African society. It provides a framework for developing a national human resource development strategy, which transcends the traditional divide between the formal education system, which operates on the supplyside, and the work-place based skills training system, which operates on the demand-side. The bringing together of the supply-side and the demand-side through the focus in the Green Paper on strengthening the key post-school institutional form where the two intersect, namely the FET colleges, is a step in the right direction. This has the potential to drive the skills revolution that the country sorely needs, while at the same time addressing the challenge of access to education and training opportunities through inverting the enrolment pyramid by focusing expanded access on the base of the pyramid, that is, in postschool institutions other than the universities.

1.2 The Council on Higher Education (CHE) welcomes the release of the Green Paper and the invitation to comment as part of the consultation process. The Council trusts that it comments will contribute to strengthening the policy framework for the post-school education and training system and looks forward to engaging further with the Minister and the DHET on the issues addressed in this response.

1.3 The Green Paper in developing a vision for a single, coherent, differentiated and highly articulated PSET covers a range of issues that are beyond the remit and mandate of the CHE. In the light of this, the Council’s response will be limited to the proposed vision for the PSET and two key policy issues addressed in the Green Paper, namely:

  1. The quantity, quality and diversity of provision, with a particular focus on the proposals relating the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges and the Universities.

  2. The streamlining of the regulatory system, specifically, the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the role of the Quality Councils (QCs).