Our industry (language school business) has been publishing articles in our international trade magazines that has put a bad light on South Africa as a destination. So, Jens and myself are hitting back and explaining the way things are according to us. Please read and share our response to Study Travel Magazine in light of their recent Educator Q& A mentioning EduSA.
Good morning Matthew:
Cape Studies has some good news from South Africa for a ‘change’ referring to your interview with Mr J Kraus, EDUSA.
It always amazes us at Cape Studies language school, that so many problems are reported in your magazine on the state of the EFL industry in South Africa. Law suits between EDUSA and the government, visa problems and a slump in bookings to SA schools.
Being in the industry right from the start 22 years ago, gave us the knowledge to read the signs concerning what was happening in the industry long ago. As any professional school would, we got our act together.
Cape Studies: accredited with the QCTO
Cape Studies is proud to say, that not only is it independently (not a member of EDUSA) recognised by the Department of Higher Education in South Africa – because we qualified to be the first language school to have it’s program and school recognised by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations QTCO, the advisory board for the Department of Higher Education (document attached as well as what they are all about).
Finally there is a quality standard set by the government, and a course format that is recognized for language schools. This recognition goes far above the internal standards set by EDUSA and includes, from official first aid training, tax clearance, fire plans, property inspections, syllabus, insurance, personnel conflict resolutions, 3 year business forecasts ensuring that advanced booked and paid students will receive their tuition just to name a few.
It is simply not correct to state (as mentioned in your interview) that EduSA is authorised by the Cape High Court to oversee accreditations for their member schools. We will attach High Court settlement document that EduSA is referring to. The settlement clearly stipulates that each member of EduSa makes its own application (clause 4.1) – this requirement for single applications is nowhere within the settlement handed over to EduSa. It would not make sense at all, seeing that site inspections are part of the accreditation process.
We know that our route for official recognition might be a bit expensive for some, very good, schools in South Africa. However for one organization, EDUSA, to get recognition for all its members, without the government inspecting and judging each school on their own merits, sounds like funny business to us.
Cape Studies: No study permit problems
Our accreditation with the QCTO/DHET was a costly, sometimes frustrating, but well worth procedure. South African students can now even apply for government bursaries, to study at Cape Studies.
We’ve had no visa problems that could not be solved by explaining how proper accreditation works and it’s lawfulness to any SA embassy in the world.
EduSa is claiming that the ‘DHET and DHA (Home Affairs) are not holding up their end of the deal’.
Its not true. With correct documents, all embassies grant study permits. And to state in public that Government departments do not ‘hold up their end of the deal’ and openly threaten with renewed court action is to say at least, very undiplomatic and damaging to the process.
Most importantly: this behavior makes agents insecure about South Africa. Please keep in mind that clients from most countries do not even need a study permit … clients from these countries normally enter on a 3 month tourist visa.
During the bad publicity, that was created by the ‘SA language Industry’, Cape Studies kept its nose clean and showed a steady increase in welcoming new agents from different markets and in student numbers. Currently we are having the best low season in years. Like in the past Cape Studies paved the way, now any language school in South Africa can apply to the QTCO, because of Cape Studies, EFL courses and the language school industry are recognized by the South African government.
We are happy to share information on this long and tedious process with any school in SA because we believe a healthy industry is profitable to all of us.
Thank you for keeping the world updated on the South African EFL industry. We are here to answer all your technical questions on this matter.
Regards from sunny Cape Town
Director Cape Studies