Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Impress

Jun 05
LAST-MINUTE STUDY TIPS TO TAKE YOUR GRADES FROM GOOD TO GREAT


As thousands of South African learners enter their June exams, an expert says that there are a few ways to optimise limited study time without resorting to cramming.

"Revision time is over, and learners must ensure they use the time they have between exams in the most effective way. While cramming may seem the most natural thing to do at this stage, it is actually counter-productive and likely to increase anxiety and fatigue," says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.*

She says there are creative – and entertaining - ways in which learners can utilise their time between papers, which will also ensure they maintain a good work-life balance during this taxing time.

"The most important thing to do at this stage, is to take stock of where you are at, and then draw up a detailed roster for the next few weeks, which clearly shows how much time you have available between subjects. Then you need to decide how you are best going to use that time to ensure your preparation goes beyond reading textbooks over and over again."

Payne says there are 3 great ways to study while exams are in full swing, which go beyond repetitive and rote learning.

GET SOCIAL

"By getting social, we don't mean diving into facebook or Instagram," she says.

Instead, learners should form study groups for individual subjects, which will allow them to take their understanding beyond the books.

"Set up a WhatsApp challenge with your friends, where you can send each other questions about a subject. This facilitates valuable discussions, deepening insight and highlighting areas you may have missed. Keep it fun but focused, and see if you can 'trip up' your friends with your questions. While it might not be so much fun finding out that there is something your friends know that you don't, this method helps you identify areas need work before it is too late." 

GET ACTIVE

It is very important to exercise during exams, to give your body and mind a break. If you share a study timetable with your friends, you can optimise your time by, for instance, going for a run together during which time you can talk over upcoming papers, points you don't understand, and questions you believe are likely to arise.

"It is important that you and your friends synchronise your timetables, so that your breaks coincide for the most part. By ensuring your downtime is scheduled at the same time as theirs, you avoid a situation where you want to have a chat when they are focused on their work and vice versa," says Payne.

She adds that, by having the same breaks, learners can also act as a conscience for each other to check that everyone is working when they should be, as having to account to them may give one that extra bit of motivation to keep going.

"Then, when taking breaks together, you can talk over issues in a low-pressure environment such as while exercising. Your friends may have valuable insights and support to provide, just as you may be able to help them with your own unique insights.

"Getting active together while not losing focus of the task at hand means you benefit from the feel-good chemicals released in your brain as a result of exercising and socialising, while at the same time increasing your depth of understanding of a subject," says Payne.

GET WRITING

One of the best ways to cement your preparation with limited time on hand, is to write past exam papers, Payne says.

"Get your friends together and hold a mock exam, imitating the exam conditions with set times and no peeking in textbooks. Afterwards, switch papers with each person marking another's paper. This approach has the dual benefit of making you more comfortable with exam conditions, while also solidifying your knowledge in a low-pressure environment."

"It is very important to spread your time between all your subjects, and to not go down the rabbit hole of getting lost in only one subject, for instance Mathematics," says Payne. 

"At this stage of the game, balance is key, and goes a long way towards countering the negative impact of stress and anxiety.

"If you are serious about achieving the best marks to enable you access to the post-school opportunities you desire, introducing creative study methods such as the above will go a long way toward not only improving your performance, but also to cultivate a love of learning for its own sake, which is vitally important in a rapidly changing world of work," says Payne.

* DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.

 


May 07
HIDDEN COSTS & THEIR IMPACT ON STUDY OPTIONS


Grade 12s should already be well into researching their study options for 2019 and should aim to beat the rush and submit their applications sooner rather than later, whether it be for a public university or private higher education institution, an expert says.

"But before you settle on a degree or institution, it is important to make sure that you considered all your options thoroughly, including those closer to home, which will allow you to avoid the hidden costs unrelated to the actual cost of the course," says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

"Of course it is exciting to think about moving to the other side of the country and starting a whole new chapter of your life outside of your familiar environment, but there are some solid reasons for opting to choose an institution close to home," she says.

Payne says apart from the usual advice of how to apply for admission, what you should consider, and which courses you would like to do, the financial impact of studies beyond fees, and the role this should play in your decision, are rarely discussed.

She says prospective students should remember to also consider the following when determining how to structure their budget:

Prescribed textbooks and supplementary material. This could include art material, laptops, and field-specific equipment, to mention but a few. Students will need to budget for two semesters, each of which will contain different modules with their own resource requirements. Depending on the nature of your course, there are also costs associated with printing and copying. 

Accommodation. Will you be applying at an institution that would require you to live in student residence, on off-campus accommodation or will you be staying at home? If you're not going to be at home there are costs such as rent, meals, airtime and laundry that need to be budgeted for as well.

Travelling costs. This would not only include the daily commute to the campus from nearby student residences or off-campus accommodation, but your budget should include extra costs involved in the longer journeys to return home during the recess periods. Travelling to and from the campus would also incur expenses and this can add up quite quickly. Tickets for taxis, buses and trains or the cost of petrol for your own private vehicle should also be considered. 

"There are sound financial reasons for considering studying at an institution close to your home. On top of that, the value of your support structure should not be underestimated.  South African first year dropout rates are high, and lack of support is one of the reasons," says Payne.

"There is a huge gap between the demands placed on you at school, and what you'll need to deal with in your first year studying. The workload is much greater, and there are also additional emotional pressures associated with this new stage of life. We therefore urge the Class of 2018 to carefully investigate all their options, and all the factors that will impact on their emotional and financial wellbeing during their first year at varsity."


Payne says prospective students should remember that there are many options for higher education besides public universities, and that registered private institutions are subjected to exactly the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight.

"Considering a local higher education institution will almost always be more economical than one situated far away, because you then have the option of staying at home and saving costs on those extras that come with rental accommodation, plus you will have your support system around you when times get tough.  Given the challenges that first year students face it makes sense to consider delaying living independently until that hurdle is overcome.  Also remember that some institutions have more than one campus, so you could perhaps consider transferring at a later stage when you have found your feet."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.


 


Mar 12
WHEN SCREENS REPLACE TEACHERS: DANGERS OF INTRODUCING TECH IN THE CLASSSROOM


Technology has taken the world by storm and its use now pervades arguably all fields.  The education sector is also embracing the potential that technology offers, with good schools and universities incorporating tech to strengthen educational outcomes.  But with devices and applications now ubiquitous across generations of learning – from infants to doctoral candidates – an expert has warned that teachers and lecturers must be strategic and judicious about technology, so that it supports learning rather than sabotages it.

Aaron Koopman, Head of Programme: Faculty of Commerce at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education provider, says being cautious is particularly important at school level, where habits for lifelong learning are either adopted or abandoned.

"One of the most important areas of risk, is where technology hinders the development of social and collaborative skills," he notes.  

"Collaboration and teamwork are global competencies and rely on the ability of learners to engage with others to reach shared outcomes.  While there are ways in which technology can be used, such as online engagement with people on another continent, a document sharing process or a blog, it is also critical to promote collaboration, which means teachers must ensure that the face-to-face engagement skills of young learners in particular are developed," he says.

Another area of concern, is where the convenience (for educators) and addictiveness (for learners) of technology lead to a situation where it effectively replaces teachers, similar to home environments where screens become de facto babysitters.

"The most effective way to use technology is to support, extend, reinforce and enhance teaching.  It becomes a risk however when one assumes that children can learn independently via technology, particularly when it is not at all interactive or responsive."

It is also problematic when technology is passive, for instance when learners and students use e-books that cannot be annotated.

"This renders them less supportive of learning than hard copy books that can underlined," says Koopman.

A significant danger arises where technology is not managed, he adds.

"Over and above the obvious risks when young people access inappropriate material online, classroom management of devices is critical.  If a distracted young person can virtually wander off and play a game or spend time on social media during class time because of a lack of environmental management, valuable teaching time is lost. 

"It is therefore necessary for good schools and institutions to put in place measures whereby they can lock down what can be accessed during class time, or through other management approaches. Having a management strategy is, however, non-negotiable."

Finally, tech fails can make for major teaching headaches.

"While it makes sense to allow learners and students to bring their own devices, that can cause problems when time is wasted on incompatible operating systems or devices that are not properly charged. Good schools and institutions must specify standards for devices and have sufficient plugs and charging stations to assist with this.  Good connectivity on campus is also crucial.

"Having said that, technology should not take over to such degree that learning stops when devices drop us. Good teachers should be able to keep the class learning even if half or all their devices fail. They should be able to transition into a collaborative lesson or even abandon devices completely and still be able achieve the same outcomes without tech."

Koopman says that technology's advantages cannot be overstressed. But that equally, the importance of good real-life teachers should never be under-estimated.

"Excellent teachers stimulate interest, they create excitement in the classroom, they engage with learners and they broaden the thinking of learners. They are able to relate concepts and principles to learners and customise the learning experience to the needs of the individual learners who all have different styles," he says. 

"Quality teaching is in fact technology independent – if schools genuinely believe in the centrality of teaching as the magic of a learning process they will make technology decisions that support learning and teaching, not undermine it."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.

 


Mar 05
CULTIVATE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDY HABITS FOR A LIFETIME OF SUCCESS


Senior high school learners from Grade 9 to 12 should not only spend energy on mastering their academic work, but also on mastering those study habits that will set them up for a lifetime of effective learning - from when they hit varsity to when they enter the workplace, an expert says.

"Mastering the mechanics of learning is just as important as the learning itself, and is a crucial component of handling the demands of higher education once learners become students," says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education provider.

"When learners enter their final years of school, it is no longer just about the amount of time they spend in front of their books, but also about the quality of that time. These years are the optimal ones for developing the skills that will help them manage the increasing workloads of they will face in future," she says.

Mooney says there are a few basics that senior learners can start putting in place as part of their regular routines, which will clear the administrative clutter on their desks and in their minds, allowing them to learn faster and focus purely on the subject at hand:

  1. LEARNING TO TOUCH TYPE

    Productivity is vastly improved both at uni and in the workplace when the effort and thinking around typing is removed, says Mooney.

    "Note-taking is more accurate, assignments can be completed faster, and admin can be handled more effectively. In 2018, being a keyboard maestro should be a skill everyone gets under their belt sooner rather than later," she says.

     
  2. DEVELOPING GOOD ORGANISATIONAL HABITS

    "One of the main challenges we see among first years, is their struggle to keep all balls in the air. The workload increases dramatically between Matric and first year, and being organised demonstrably improves your chances of keeping your head above water."

    Mooney says learners should start getting into the habit of filing their notes every day as well as spending a few minutes daily on administrative and organisational tasks.

    "Very importantly, they need to start developing a logical folder structure and filing system, to ensure that confusion doesn't catch up with them, and that they do not spend unnecessary time searching for things that are either lost or hidden in plain sight.

    "Create different folders for different subjects, make sure your sub-folders make logical sense, and stick to effective naming conventions which make document searches easier."

    And very importantly, a habit of backing up regularly should become second nature.

     
  3. LEARNING TO MULTI-TASK

    Using your time effectively and creatively can generate a lot of additional time which will come in handy when the pressure really sets in, says Mooney.

    "For instance, when going for a run, don't just listen to music. You can use this time to listen to an audio book or discussion on the subject you are studying or revising at the moment. Find opportunities such as these, where you can claim two birds with one stone. Another example of creative time-management, would be to not play random computer games during your downtime, but to download one of the very entertaining typing challenges that will improve your keyboard game as well as serve as relaxation."

     
  4. CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET AND COMMITTING TO LIFELONG LEARNING

    Some learners and students can't wait for the end – the end of school, the end of exams, the end of uni, and so forth. But always looking forward to when your studies will be over turns each subject, test and exam into a chore that needs to be completed.

    "Switching this attitude around however, and relishing the reality that your learning is a lifelong project rather than something that needs to be crossed off your to-do list, will instil a mindset that will open up a never-ending world of opportunity and discovery," says Mooney.

    She says this is particularly necessary within the context of the looming 4th industrial revolution, where employees need to be multi-skilled creative thinkers.

    "We are no longer in a world where it is about what you know. What counts today and what will count in the future, is how you get to know things, and how you are able to cope with change. That is all dependent on your knowledge management habits, which young adults need to start cultivating as soon as possible."

"When we look at those students who successfully navigate their first year in higher education, it is clear that they are the ones who bring with them the habits that enable effective learning, combined with a resilient mindset," says Mooney.

"Many students don't enter higher education with these skills, which is why good institutions have the support structures in place to assist and guide them. But those who heed the warning to start cultivating these skills in senior high school and arrive at the doors of higher learning with those behaviours already entrenched, are undoubtedly at an advantage."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.


 


Nov 24
DON'T LET YOUR FEAR OF INTERVIEWS STOP YOU FROM REACHING FOR YOUR DREAM


Many job applicants think – incorrectly – that the war is pretty much won once their CV gets the nod and they get invited to a job interview. Yet the shortlisting is only the first hurdle and, once cleared, candidates must prepare to compete on a very different level against other candidates who also passed muster on paper, an expert says.

"Interviews can be scary affairs, and anxiety often trips up otherwise deserving candidates," says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education​, the largest and most accredited private higher education institution in South Africa.

"The purpose of an interview is to get to know a candidate more closely, and to try and determine which shortlisted candidate will be the best fit not only for the work and a position's unique challenges, but also for the company and its culture. And the best defence against wasting a valuable interview opportunity is to be prepared. Very prepared," he says.

"If you have all your ducks in a row by the time you go and sit in front of the panel, you will be the master of your destiny - not your fear and anxiety."

Ntshinga says the following should be kept in mind in the lead-up to the interview:

DO

Pay attention to detail  

Do your research about the position and the company, opportunities and challenges. List and rehearse your career highlights as they relate to the requirements of the job you want to land. Focus on what you are currently doing, what you have done, and what you expect to contribute in future. Demonstrate how you will solve problems, manage projects and make decisions.

Understand that your track record is constructed throughout your life

When showcasing who you are and what you have done, source relevant and exciting examples wherever you can find them – whether from school, higher education or previous positions. Prove that you have successfully worked with various kinds of teams, for instance large-scale, diverse or acrosss continents, and that you understand how the physical world works.

Keep it clean

Realise that when two candidates are equal, the one that is able to demonstrate a positive impact on their community, and resilience and strength of character, is more likely to land the job. A good reputation is an invaluable asset. If there is a negative in your past, be prepared to convince the panel that you have grown and learned from it.

Demonstrate that you are part of a professional community

Join and become active in your industry body or a professional organisation. It shows that you are not an island and are committed to growing your career.

DON'T

Fake and fumble

Preparation is key. Know what you want to say, and find opportunities to do so in the questions that are posed. Ditch the unnecessarily lengthy monologues, and answer questions honestly and precisely. Above all, answer questions in a cool, calm and friendly manner. Show your entrepreneurial spirit, by providing examples of times you have looked for innovative solutions to problems.

Think your good grades and technical proficiency will pull you through

There is a good chance that most of the candidates competing with you during the interview stage will have the same level of subject expertise as you. That is why you have to demonstrate how you as an individual will be the best choice. Amplify and articulate your technical skills, but be sure to also showcase your great communication and strategic skills, and your emotional intelligence.

Let your social media activities destroy your real-life opportunities

All employers will do a social media background check on prospective employees. Online mistakes can last forever, so always be very responsible in your posts and interactions. If you have beef with someone, take it offline and solve the problem like an adult. Nothing says "stay away" like seeing unsavoury exchanges on your candidate's timeline. So, even before you apply for a position, do a personal social media audit and ask yourself the question – would you hire the person you are seeing in those facebook posts and tweets? If not, you should invest some time in developing a more professional online presence.

PIC: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM



Nov 13
MATRICS: HOW TO KEEP THE FOCUS WHEN EXAM FATIGUE SETS IN


With little more than two weeks of the Matric final exams left, an education expert has warned learners to keep the focus right to the end, because what lies ahead could still mean the difference between make or break.

"It would be understandable – but a mistake – for Grade 12s at this stage to feel that what's done is done, and that they don't have much power to change things or improve on their overall performance in their remaining papers," says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

He says with the worst behind them, and exam fatigue threatening a sustained effort, learners should remember that their one or two remaining papers could yet make a very real and decisive difference to their future options.

"It is worth taking stock now of where you are, engineering a mind shift, and getting to a space where you are able to stay strong, motivated and effective right until the end," he says.

"Ultimately, a handful of points on a paper could influence whether your final symbol goes up or down, which should be encouragement enough to ensure you put in your very best effort even on the so-called easier subjects that may come."

However after a year of studying, exams, revision and more revision, as well as the stress and anxiety learners had to manage during the finals, it may take more than positive encouragement to get the focus back, says Ntshinga.

Learners – with the help of their parents and guardians – should therefore consider the following strategy to get them back to an in it to win it attitude. Ntshinga says they should:

KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND

Visualise your plans for next year, and match that dream with the performance you need to get there. That means not just the performance on, for instance, the 5 papers you have already completed, but also the 2 that are still to come.

Many of the subjects that are still to be written are ones that were chosen to score "easier points" to improve overall matric scores, and that strategy should not be abandoned now that the jackpot is within sight.

STICK TO YOUR ROSTER AND AVOID CRAMMING

Keep putting in a solid, consistent effort on your remaining work in line with how you planned your approach at the start of the exams. Don't be tempted to take unnecessary days off now, with the intention of cramming later. Yes, the pace has let up from the earlier weeks in the exam, but don't let relief at seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, combined with fatigue, derail your momentum.

KEEP PUTTING ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER, COMPLETE SMALL TASKS

Break up your remaining workload into smaller, easier to complete sections rather than attempting to sit down for hours at a time to study entire textbooks in one go. Now really is the time to eat the proverbial elephant one bite at a time. Be easy on yourself, but be consistent in your efforts. Just keep going one piece of work at a time, and then tackle the next and the next.

AVOID CATASTROPHISING THOUGHTS

Don't let negative emotional energy over what's happened so far in the exams impact on what you can still do. If things have gone well, sustained effort can mean that things go even better than you aimed for. If things had not gone well, renewed and continued effort can mean the difference between having a range of study options or limited prospects. Whichever it is, it is important to understand that there will be options, and that every bit you do now has the potential to increase the chances of you being able to study what you want, where you want.

GET SOME EXERCISE AND A CHANGE OF SCENERY

Finally, now is a good time to also get out of the musty study rut, and to start smelling the flowers of freedom. Take a walk, give yourself a special treat during your scheduled downtime, or do something new. There's a whole new and exciting world waiting for you on the other side of the last sentence of the last paper you write, so allow yourself to look forward to it, while also ensuring you give yourself the absolute best launchpad you possibly can.



DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.


Nov 06
GRADE 11s: NOW (NOT NEXT YEAR) IS THE BEST TIME TO CONSIDER YOUR STUDY OPTIONS

With three months left before they enter their final year of school, Grade 11 learners could be tempted to make relaxing their only priority before the whirlwind year that is Matric. However now is precisely the time they should be investigating and even pinning down their further study plans, an education expert says.


"Once you've started your Matric year, you will have very little time to focus on ensuring you choose the right course and the right institution for you, because of the workload, endless rounds of revision and exams, and all the fun and functions that go with your last year at school," says Peter Kriel, General Manager at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest and most accredited private higher education provider.

Kriel says many Grade 12s get so caught up in the social and academic demands of their final year, that they don't spend enough time ensuring they investigate all their options and apply timeously to university or private higher education. This could lead to them missing out on a space, settling for second best, and diluting their Matric study efforts with stress and anxiety about what they are going to do after school.

"Another thing that Grade 11s are often not aware of, is that they can submit applications on the basis of their Grade 11 marks, which means that they can then focus wholely and completely on Grade 12, without further concern or distraction about what happens the year after. In addition, knowing what you want and where you are going at the start of the year, will also help you focus your study efforts, as you'll know exactly what you need to achieve during the year and at your final exams."

Kriel says that the changed Higher Education landscape in South Africa means that prospective students now have many more options than what they had in the past, when the default approach was to enter a public university for a 3-year degree.

But he warns that because there are so many more options now, prospective students also have more work to do to ensure that they find the right course and right institution for their unique goals.

"Finding the right study direction should be on top of your priority list when finding out about what and where to study," he says. 

"In addition, selecting an institution that will meet your needs is the most important aspect of helping you prepare for your future."

Kriel warns that while the websites and brochures of institutions may provide one with the basic information about which programmes are on offer, the process of applying and cost, merely looking at brochures and websites may not give you the type of information that would really allow you to make an informed decision.

"In fact, all institutions would provide you with course information, but no institution will state that the size of the Business Management 1 class is over 500 or that it is really challenging getting academic support on campus. Therefore, the only way to find out about such underlying aspects is to ask the right questions. And to do so thoroughly takes time – time which you are not likely to have next year."

Kriel says when evaluating institutions, future students should attend open days, physically visit the campus, and make telephonic or written contact.

"These actions and the way your inquiries are handled will provide a solid indication of what you can expect from an institution going forward."

For Grade 11s who are serious about getting their ducks in a row before jumping in the Matric pond, Kriel has a handy checklist that will help them determine which institutions will be able to provide them with the highest quality education. He says prospective students should ask institutions the following questions:

  1. How do your class sizes in this particular programme compare to other institutions or universities? (Keep in mind that the institution may not have in-depth information about the class sizes at other institutions, but you want to hear about this particular institution).
     
  2. How is classroom contact time and self-directed study balanced? (Self-directed study is an integral part of higher education and therefore as important as classroom contact).

  3. How is technology supporting the learning experience of students at this institution? (Merely having a data projector in classrooms or lecturers making presentations available electronically is not the response you are looking for).

  4. How important is employability of students after studying at your institution? (You want to listen out for responses that relate to industry ties, industry input into curricula, work readiness programmes, career centres, as well as the lecturing staff's industry experience and relationships with industry).
     
  5. If I get stuck with an assignment or project, which resources and courses of action are available to me? (Only talking to your lecturer is not an ideal response. You want to listen for reference to, for example, library support and resources, writing centers and other forms of student support).

  6. Even if not applicable to you, it may also be a good idea to ask about the institution's policy and support for students with special needs, for example needing extra time in assessments. (If they stumble in answering this question, it may be an indication that they are not really focused on this aspect of student support, which may be a sign about their overall student centeredness).

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.



 

 

 

 


Nov 02
LET'S ACE THIS THING!


Here is a collection of fantastic advice to help you through to the very last paper, from our experts at at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

The things to remember with the papers that didn't go well are firstly that once you hand in the paper there is nothing more you can do, so you need to let it go. It is pointless to obsess about something that you cannot control, for instance thinking about the points you forgot, the way you could have better answered certain questions, or even the fact that you could have studied harder. It is far better to focus on what you can still do now, for instance studying harder for the next paper. - Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support.


While it goes without saying you would have preferred excellent results and optimal performance, even if the worst-case scenario comes to pass, there will still be many options open to you. For instance if you don't achieve the marks required to take up your space at the higher education institution of your choice, you could do a rewrite or investigate other options – and there are so many – for which you DO qualify. - Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support.


Don't let a bad start overshadow your final exams entirely. Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support.


Restrict social media during focussed 1-2 hour study sessions so concentration is not interrupted, and allow it during breaks - preferably away from the desk – in conjunction with a healthy snack and some fresh air. - Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology.


Don't cheat! At this stage, you may feel that it is the only option remaining for you, but what you think is the quickest and easiest route may very well destroy your future, and have repercussions that follow you throughout your life. - Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support.


Even if things seem catastrophic at this stage, bad results or even failure doesn't need to mean the end of one's dreams for a successful future. - Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support.


See where you can save or create time, and where you can put in an extra hour or two every day. Every little bit helps, and the time you take to do a mock paper could mean the difference between being accepted into your course or institution of choice next year or not. - Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support.


While you are studying, focus on nothing else. At night, when you go to bed, and in the morning when you wake up, think about your future. Visualise why you are putting in all the hard work now, and picture your future. - Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology.



DID YOU KNOW?


The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank CollegeVarsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.






Oct 13
ORGANISATIONAL COMPLEXITY DRIVES DEMAND FOR QUALIFIED BUSINESS ANALYSTS


Increasing automisation of business processes is driving the demand for qualified and experienced business analysts, as these professionals are uniquely positioned to help companies adapt, innovate and reinvent in a challenging environment, an expert says.

"For an organisation to retain its competitive advantage, it is constantly required to identify new opportunities and different ways of conducting its business, and human insight and understanding remain invaluable in this context," says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest and most accredited private higher education institution.

He says some of the challenges still faced by organisations, particularly in South Africa, and in both the public and private sector, include:

  • That business processes are still performed manually,
  • An increase in employee workload due to an increase in clients,
  • An unstructured and inconsistent approach which sees duplication in ICT systems and personnel functions,
  • That processes are adapted to software applications rather than the other way around,
  • That systems processes need to be manually rectified due to incorrect reconciliation,
  • That entire processes are compromised due to attempts at streamlining and optimising. 

Ntshinga says that public universities and higher education institutions are increasingly recognising the need for qualifications that specifically address these emerging organisational demands, which will only increase in coming years.

"To survive and thrive as the fourth industrial revolution begins to manifest, organisations and companies need to adapt, innovate and reinvent. Institutions of learning therefore need to prepare students for this reality, where customers are smarter, enterprises are extending, business models are continuously changing, and where there is an increase in intelligent automation and Artificial Intelligence application.

"Business Analysis is a relatively new discipline that draws on and consolidates learning and experiences from other fields, and prepares students for this skill of the future.

"We predict a marked rise in coming years in the demand for well-rounded graduates who have proper technical depth combined with a good appreciation of the business edge of ICT."

Ntshinga explains that Business Analysis involves the understanding of how organisations function to accomplish their purpose, and the ability to define and implement the capabilities an organisation requires to effectively provide products and services to external stakeholders.

"Business analysis, as a discipline, gives students and graduates an opportunity to analyse business needs and challenges, to propose creative, workable and desired solutions that are financially sound."

In order to do this, Business Analysts are required to:

  1. Clarify what problems an initiative is trying to solve – i.e. define and solve problems to ensure that the real, underlying problem is understood;  
  2. Apply project management skills, together with written and oral communication skills to effectively express ideas in ways that are appropriate to the target audience;
  3. Adapt to organisational culture and seek out communities of practise to help requirement elicitation. Eliciting requirements is a key to business analysis because the requirements serve as the foundation for the solution to the business need;
  4. Model and low-code business processes (e.g. using Business Process Modelling Notation); and
  5. Manage the risks related to the ability of a solution to meet the business need.

"As organisations will increasingly require professionals who can ensure that IT service management integrates people, processes and technology initiatives to deliver business value, there will be an increase in demand for candidates who can demonstrate that they are qualified and up to this complex task. Ultimately, these professionals will have to ensure that they address challenges of duplication, redundancy, the lack of standardisation, and inconsistent measurement and control."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.

 

 

 


Oct 04
11 IIE Vega students elected to BCSA's first Student Council!

Vega, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), is proud to announce that 11 of its students will form the Brand Council South Africa (BCSA) Student Council, which will contribute towards the BCSA's vision of creating a unified voice for the professional branding community in South Africa.

The BCSA Student Council is a first for South Africa's branding industry, and was established to provide young people with a seat at the table, giving students a platform to participate and have their say at  an industry level.

"It's vital that we encourage more young people, especially those at tertiary level trying to enter the industry, to get involved and be aware of the issues facing the branding community at large," says Anli Grobler, Senior Academic Navigator and BCSA board member. "We also have a responsibility to nurture the next generation of professionals, to ensure the industry's sustainability going forward."

Get to know the 2017 BCSA Student Council

Moosa Molibeli, currently studying a BCom Honours in Strategic Brand Management, believes that her "weird perspective on the world" is what sets her apart, and describes herself as the perfect balance between an analytical and creative thinker.

Marvyn Msipha is currently in his final year of studying a BCom in Strategic Brand Management and says that he has always had an interest in understanding what makes people tick and their reasoning behind making decisions, leading to his love of business and marketing.

Sarah Connolly is a third year student studying a BA in Strategic Brand Communication, and says that her love of travel is responsible for opening her eyes to a variety of different cultures and customs, which helps inform a more well-rounded view of the world.

Matthew Smit says he chose to study a BCom in  Strategic Brand Management because of his interest in how detail-oriented the world of marketing and branding is, and how this impacts brands and businesses.

Juahara Khan is a third-year student currently studying a BA in Strategic Brand Communication. Her interests include micro-blogging, photography and social media. Khan believes that it's important to hold on to your dreams, and to use these to find your purpose in life.

Jayce Davin is a third-year BA Creative Brand Communication student.  "As a creative my work is didactic, my thoughts eclectic and my executions holistic," he says. When he isn't reading, playing sport or drinking copious amounts of coffee, Davin dedicates his time to running an educational NPO.

Siyabulela Mafanya is currently studying a BBA in Brand Building and Management , and is an active member of the Vega community, having been a member of the Vega Student Liaison Body for two years. She describes herself as resilient and optimistic with an adventurous soul.

Rob Crawford is a designer, musician and "general odd-ball" studying a BA in Creative Brand Communications. Along with being the co-founder of a start-up clothing brand, Crawford also released his own Electro pop album in 2014 and initially studied sound engineering before realising design was his real passion.


Bernice Puleng Mosala is a writer and performer, studying towards a BA in Creative Brand Communications. Mosala was awarded a trip to New York for a creative event strategy she developed for Viacom.

Kieran Kohler is currently studying a BCom in Strategic Brand Management, and has a love for tech and understanding how things are made, how they work and how they impact people. He describes himself as a perfectionist and sees unsolved problems as a personal challenge.

Zama Makhaza is a 21-year-old second-year BA Strategic Brand Communications  student with an inquisitive mind and a penchant for taking roads less travelled. She enjoys sharing knowledge and working with others who can help open her mind to new ideas.

Vega is currently the only higher education institution that is part of the BCSA, but the organisation aims to attract more schools and students to take part in the future.

"While the BCSA Student Council is currently made up entirely of students from Vega, the aim is to work towards attracting students from a variety of institutions to join, in order to increase student involvement across the industry," says Grobler. 

*DID YOU KNOW?

IIE - The Independent Institute of Education is South Africa's largest private higher education provider. (Think #PrivateSchools, but in the university space).

By law, private higher education institutions may not call themselves Private Universities.

But all registered private institutions are subject to exactly the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities, which means that your IIE qualification completed at any of the institution's outstanding and respected brands, such as Varsity College 
Vega SchoolRosebank College and The Business School, is recognised locally and internationally, and will set you on the path to the career of your dreams.




1 - 10Next