Nzimande withdraws four Educor colleges from education system

Damelin college, one of the country’s oldest private colleges, is set to cease operation. This after the Department of Higher Education and Training withdrew four private colleges run by Educor from the higher education system. The withdrawal is effective immediately.

Educor failed to fulfil the requirements for registration contemplated in Section 57(2)(b) of the (Higher Education) Act. It also failed to submit their annual financial statements and  tax clearance certificates for the 2021/2022 years. This as proof of their financial viability.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande confirmed the news.

Deemed dysfunctional

“On July 26, 2023, the Director-General, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, [acted] in his capacity as the registrar of Private Higher Education Institutions. …He cancelled the registration of City Varsity (Pty) Ltd, Damelin (Pty) Ltd, Icesa City Campus (Pty) Ltd; and Lyceum College (Pty) Ltd.

Nzimande said the four Educor brands are deemed as dysfunctional. They had been measured by the daily complaints and grievances received from students. Most of these remain unresolved.

The complaints include poor quality of teaching and learning, poorly qualified staff, corruption and bribery. Also lack of response for requests for refunds, and exploitation of poor students.

Failed to submit financial statements, falsified enrolment numbers

“The four Educor institutions were required to lodge an appeal with the minister on or before September 26 2023. They then requested an extension to February 28 2024, and are now seeking a further extension.

“They have failed to submit their annual financial statements and the tax clearance certificates for the 2021 and 2022 years. This as proof of their financial viability. We are now moving into the 2023 cycle,” said Nzimande.

Nzimande further revealed that Educor lied about the number of students they have.

“Educor (Pty) Ltd claims to have 50,000 [students] in the system. This information is incorrect since the 2022 annual reports indicate the breakdown of student enrolment as: City Varsity (540) students, Damelin (4,012), Icesa City Campus (145) and Lyceum College (8,399). This  totals to 13,096,” Nzimande shared.

Instructed to inform students and assist them with transcripts, refunds 

Nzimande said Educor has a responsibility to inform its students within 14 days from the date of the registrar’s notice. This refers to the notice that its registration has lapsed or been cancelled. They are to also notify the students of the arrangements that will be made to safeguard their interests.

“Issue to each enrolled student a copy of his or her academic transcript as contemplated in regulation 25. [Also] reimburse or compensate any enrolled student who has a lawful claim on the institution. This as a consequence of its ceasing to operate from funds established as contemplated in regulation 12,” Nzimande added.

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