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Feb 28
Students welcome private university law ruling

​Durban - LAW students at private universities have expressed relief after the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling declaring the Independent Institution of Education’s (IIE) LLB programme equivalent to that offered at any public university in South Africa.

Sinothi Mtshali, 20, a second-year LLB student at the IIE’s Varsity College in Durban North, was a first-year social sciences student at UKZN in 2017 and said there were differences between the two institutions. 

“There were too many of us in class at UKZN. I would be scared to raise my hand and ask a question, but here at VC there is a small class and you get a direct communication line with your lecturer,” he said.

Mtshali said the court case over the LLB programme had weighed heavily on his mind.

“The university was very upfront with us, but I was still worried that I might go through four years of studying law and not become a lawyer,” he said.

Louise Wiseman, managing director at Varsity College, said the IIE’s goal was to offer accredited, quality, private education.

In 2020, the IIE will launch a postgraduate diploma programme to supplement its Bachelor of Commerce course. This will create a clear pathway for their accounting students to become chartered accountants.

The Bachelor of Accounting degree at Varsity College was accredited by the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2017.

Tristan Nobre, 21, a third-year accounting student at Varsity College in Durban North, said the constant strikes at public universities led him to private tertiary education. “There are no disruptions, and the courses are very strong and highly rated,” he said.