Further Education and Training (FET) colleges at a glance in 2010: FET colleges audit: May-July 2010
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Between May and July 2010 the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) undertook, on behalf of the National Board for Further Education and Training (NBFET), an audit of the Further Education and Training (FET) college sector in South Africa. The corporate campuses of all fifty colleges were visited over a two-day period. In the course of the audit, the HSRC collected information on college governance and management, staff and student profiles, and student efficiency rates. While the research team's brief was to focus on college governance and management in an attempt to address the question of whether colleges were ready to be absorbed into the newly-formed Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and to operate on a defined autonomy basis, the comprehensiveness of the audit (entailing visits to all fifty colleges) provided the research team with an opportunity to collect information on the other aforementioned aspects: staff and student profiles; and student efficiency rates. The decision to collect these other pieces of information was motivated also by the rationale that colleges' ability to participate in the survey would itself provide a good indication of their capacity for self-, or at least semi-autonomous, governance. Indeed, the findings of the audit bear out the differential capacity of the different parts of the sector in responding to an exercise of this kind.
There are four sections to this report. The first, by Michael Cosser with the FET audit project team, presents, in five sub-sections, a set of tables containing key high-level findings of the project on a set of indicators under the rubrics of: Governance; Management; Staff Profiles; Student Profiles; and Efficiency Rates. The second section, also by Michael Cosser with the FET audit project team, comprises a description and analysis of the tables in Section 1. The third section, by Andre Kraak and Lolita Winnaar, comprises a comparative analysis of the size and shape of the FET college sector in 2010 and in the years leading up to this point. The fourth section, by Gina Weir-Smith and Tholang Mokhele, presents a spatial analysis of the FET college sector in 2010.