SEIZE THE DAY - JSE MAGAZINE

SEIZE THE DAY

INTEC College encompasses all that is good about further education, built on the foundation of affordability, access and advancement

There are many challenges facing those seeking to study further after traditional schooling, including poor or no matric results; a lack of funds; distance from educational facilities; and time availability. The latter also applies to those who are ready to take their career to the next level by acquiring an academic qualification while continuing to work.

The solution lies with the provision of further education and training (FETs) colleges, most of which are privately funded. INTEC College is one of the most popular and successful as is proven by its history and long affiliation with the international base that first began operating in Pennsylvania in the US, known then as international correspond- ence schools in 1896. A decade later, it had an enrolment of 850 000 students globally, including candidates in Cape Town.

Its presence in SA today is vast with one site located in Cape Town and 19 point-of-sale sites including Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban. This, combined with its presence on the internet, makes INTEC one of the few institutions that offer globally recognised distance-learning products at affordable prices.

Pranesh Rugnundan, CEO of INTEC College, says further education is a necessity today, especially when addressing scarce skills – a government imperative. However FETs face major limitations. ‘What we are seeing is the emergence of the pri- vate sector as a fee-driven market, and there are limitations in research, development and innovation in academic learning environments. Worse is the lack of government financial support for students,’ he says.

This last point is pertinent because the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (the SA government student loan and bursary scheme) only provides funding to students for public educational facilities. Those looking to study at a private institution are financially restricted. As a result many are unable to pursue further study. ‘The national government strategy should be putting more emphasis on key areas such as mathematics and literacy, particularly during the critical years of Grade 10 to Grade 12, in order to improve the matric pass rate,’ says Rugnundan.

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‘The national government strategy should be putting more emphasis on key areas such as mathematics and literacy’

The challenge of low pass rates impacts the entire education system, and Rugnundan says this has manifested as a stigma. ‘There are many prerequisites required to enter higher education universities and due to these, large numbers of prospective students are denied access to further study. The alternative is the FET system, since it provides student support programmes that allow them to bridge the gap and achieve a matric while working, regardless of age or circumstances.’ When studying towards any higher education qualification, a student must have a successful matric pass. INTEC’s National Senior Certificate allows for enrolment, regardless of age, for the three-year programme comprising Grades 10 to Grade 12. A full range of national subjects is offered with easy-to-follow study material and expert support provided.

This is the beauty of INTEC and is one of its distinctive attributes, allowing as it does students the option of completing their schooling and choosing thereafter to expand their knowledge through any one of the five schools – business, technical, computer, creative, vocational and high – that together offer more than 300 courses. INTEC also provides convenient options for employed individuals to upskill and progress in their career, or even make a bold career change.

With 173 employer-recognised accredited courses, INTEC’s distance learning is the alternative to traditional face-to-face campuses, especially for individuals who either do not have the time to attend lectures, are travelling, need to work while studying or are just too far from a learning institution.

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The most popular learning fields at INTEC are logistics and supply chain management; management; human resource management; finance and paralegal. INTEC24 is also a key feature, providing an online avenue aimed at the online computer and business markets. INTEC students also have access to free educational counselling and career assessment, accessible by telephone and email.

Rugnundan says that to stay abreast of current trends, INTEC is driven by its values. ‘We are committed to being entrepreneurial, innovative, efficient, with a high level of integrity, strong team- work and professionalism at all times. This is achieved by producing and maintaining study material that is relevant and current, developed by a product division that is dedicated to research obtained globally and nationally.

‘We invest in industrial and academic trends and build this capacity through the employment of key academics and further invite key role players in industry to engage in an advisory capacity providing us with academic and industrial advice for our programme planning,’ says Rugnundan.

6th Floor, Fleetway House,
29 Martin Hammerschlag Way, Foreshore,
Cape Town, 8000, SA
Tel: +27 (0)21 417 6700
Fax: +27 (0)21 419 1210
www.intec.edu.za