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Preparation

Mar 12
GRADE 11s: WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW TO ACE MATRIC NEXT YEAR


Grade 11s who are serious about bringing their best game to their Matric finals next year should, like performance athletes, start their preparation now so that they enter the home straight in pole position when 2020 arrives, an education expert says.

"The temptation will be there to put off thinking about Grade 12 until next year, but Grade 11s have the most powerful weapon in their arsenal right now – that of time," says Natasha Madhav, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, South Africa's largest and most accredited private higher education provider.

"As a Grade 11 learner, you need to understand how competitive the landscape will be after school, and that it is not in your best interest to wait until exam prep starts next year to start exercising your academic muscles. You have to train, prepare and lay the groundwork now, so that you can build on your performance next year, rather than try and get the basics in place while the clock is ticking," she says.

Madhav says learners must also approach each assessment this year as if it is going to be the deciding one, and learn from and correct their approach when problems are identified.

"Doing well now could also pay off pre-emptively, as many higher education institutions will allow provisional placement based on your Grade 11 marks, which will dramatically lift the pressure next year," she says.

DRAFT A 2-YEAR PLANNING OVERVIEW

Senior learners should look at their last two years of school holistically, rather than as two distinct years, Madhav says.

"Take some time to draft a two-year global overview of key dates that will arise this year and next," she advises, adding that this calendar will include actual or estimated dates for all assignments, tests and exams.

"You may think you have a lot of time ahead of you, but when drafting this calendar, you'll quickly see the reality of how demanding and time-intensive these next two years will be. The good news accompanying the realisation of the challenge ahead, is that you can now accurately determine how much time you'll have to prepare for each assessment, and not be tempted to procrastinate."

USE ANY "DOWNTIME" WISELY TO MAKE LIFE EASIER DOWN THE LINE

While there won't be much free time going around in the run-up to Matric, Grade 11s should use any time they do have on their hands wisely.

"So we are not saying you should be sitting in front of your books 24/7," says Madhav. "But when you do have time to spare, say during the holidays or weekends, do a little bit every day to strengthen your actual ability to handle the workload which will progressively increase not only this year and next, but also when you enter higher education."

Madhav says learners can use the time they have to watch YouTube videos of cool study hacks, different ways of learning and revising, learning to touch type or even doing some volunteer or internship work.

"These are all fun activities which, when compounded, can make a notable difference to your academic performance as well as the strength of your study or work applications in relation to those of your peers.

"Now is a great time to make a commitment to lifelong learning, and vowing to yourself to do something every day that makes you stronger, wiser and more resilient. These are skills that you need to craft and hone on an ongoing basis, as you can't summon them out of the blue when needed."

UNDERSTAND YOUR SUBJECT CHOICES & THEIR IMPACT ON POST-SCHOOL OPTIONS

Madhav advises Grade 11s to take some time to look closely at what they intend to do after school, and particularly to investigate their options broadly and thoroughly, and then ensure that the subjects will allow them to pursue their chosen path.

"There are a number of reasons why you should consider where you are now compared to where you were when you first decided on your current subjects, as well as where you are going to go in future," says Madhav.

"Maybe when you made your choice you did so based on the idea that you might go into communication or design. Perhaps now you are more inclined to pursue a career in accounting or law. Whatever it is, ensure that your subject choices are still aligned to your current vision for your future, and the entry requirements at your higher education institution of choice."

She says where students see they are going to fall short of entry requirements based on their subject selection, they could consider taking an additional subject, or should circumstances allow, change subjects – although this should not be done without serious consideration of consequences and discussion with the school.

But apart from ensuring you are on the right path, the exercise of considering how your subjects support further study has the added benefit of reminding you of how your subjects will enable you to realise your dreams after school.

"This is likely to provide you with fresh motivation to tackle even those ones you've been finding dreary or challenging," says Madhav, "and help you not only understand your work, but also get to grips with it in such a way that you can apply what you've learned."

Madhav says that next year, when learners enter their final year of school, it will no longer only be about the amount of time they spend in front of their books, but also about the quality of that time.

"You are in a position right now to influence the quality of that time, and effectively the trajectory of your post-school education and career. So use this time wisely to get in the right frame of mind so that you will be able to perform to the very best of your ability next year and beyond."


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.

 


Feb 22
SLAY IMPOSTOR SYNDROME & FIND YOUR CONFIDENCE AT WORK

Recent studies have highlighted the negative impact of Impostor Syndrome on young graduates transitioning to the workplace. An expert says it is important to identify and understand the signs of impostor syndrome early in one's career, to avoid losing confidence and to become an empowered, valued and productive team member.

"According to a study conducted by UK career development agency Amazing If, as much as a third of millennials – young people between the ages of 18 and 34 - suffer from Imposter Syndrome at work," says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

She says locally the situation is likely to be much the same, with a large number of young graduates who will be able to identify with a persistent fear of being "found out" or exposed as a "fraud" in the workplace.

"Imposter syndrome is commonly reported by recent graduates who are starting to formally work for the first time," she says.

"While Impostor Syndrome is not a formal psychological diagnosis, the concept has been used since 1978 to describe people who have an ongoing fear of being uncovered as being a fraud, or persistently feeling that they are 'phony'. So there is good news for those who have been experiencing these confidence-sapping feelings in the workplace: firstly, there are many millions of people around the world who feel the same way, so you are not alone; and secondly, there are some solid ways in which you can rectify the situation."

Dr Mooney says that a further characteristic of those 'suffering' from Impostor Syndrome is that they tend to struggle with internalising their achievements.

"Many high achievers make external attributions about their success, for instance that they have been 'lucky' and that their success has little to do with who they are and what they know, or hard work and intelligence. This means that these people believe that they are not intelligent or capable enough, in spite of the objective evidence to the contrary."

Dr Mooney adds that there is no clear pattern or type of person who may suffer from imposter syndrome.

"People from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of intelligence and personality types can experience the feeling that they are not capable or qualified enough for their position. But it is important that these feelings are addressed, because it is clear that they can detract from your performance and can keep you from reaching your full potential."

So how does one tackle Impostor Syndrome? By taking the following action:

RECOGNISE AND ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH

When these destructive thoughts and feelings emerge, recognise them as such. It will be easier to manage these feelings and thoughts once you know what they are. Note negative self-talk, such as 'I can't do this work' or 'I don't know how to do this presentation', and determine whether your insights are based on fact, or fear.

CHANGE YOUR MENTAL PROGRAMMING

Think about whether or not there is any real evidence for your feelings of inadequacy. Are all these feelings and thoughts just in your head? Actively rephrase your thoughts. Substitute 'I don't know anything' for 'I don't know everything, but that is to be expected because I am still learning'. Nobody is ever expected to know it all – only to try their best and work on areas that need attention.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Make a list of both your strengths and your weaknesses. Focus on the areas that you need to develop. Focus on how you can capitalise on your strengths. Keep a running list of tasks completed well, no matter how big or small.

REALISE THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Approach the Career Centre or counsellors at the private higher education institution or public university where you studied. A good institution will be well equipped to put your feelings into perspective, and to assist and guide you to set out on your path with renewed self-assurance.

BUILD CONFIDENCE

Action is the antidote to despair. Don't wallow in feeling of inadequacy or concern about your ability to handle your workload. Commit to being productive and completing one task after the other, putting one foot in front of the other. As your list of small victories grows, so will your confidence and feelings of being empowered.

COMMIT TO LIFELONG LEARNING

In our rapidly changing world of work, it is those who stay at the forefront of developments in their industry, and those who constantly update their skills and fields of competence who remain relevant and in high demand in the workplace. Constantly growing and expanding on your fields of competence, by for instance enrolling for a distance learning, post-graduate or part-time qualification, will ensure that your faith in your ability to make a real contribution in the workplace continues to grow, which will soon banish any feelings of inadequacy for good.

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 CollegeThe 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.


Jan 28
MATRIC ROADMAP: TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR YEAR RIGHT FROM THE START


The first few weeks of a learner's final school year is like a rollercoaster ride – lots of excitement, a little bit of fear and a good dose of disorientation. The start of Matric can be overwhelming, but learners would do well to get things under control as soon as possible by devising a roadmap for the months ahead, an expert says.

"Matric is a short year compared to previous school years, and before you know it, you'll be sitting down for your final exams. The good news is that in January you still have time on your side to put in place a strategy for not only working harder than before – which you definitely should be doing – but also working smarter," says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

Mooney says that in addition to the demands of preparing for the most important exam in their school careers, Grade 12s also have a plethora of once-in-a-lifetime events coming up.

"So right now you need to consider everything that will require your time and attention this year, and figure out exactly how you will make provision for all these demands."

Mooney says taking care of the life and academic admin now, will free up precious energy allowing learners to focus on the task at hand when the time comes.

"Remember that the better you perform, the higher your chances of landing a spot in the higher education institution and programme of your choice. This will in turn have a knock-on effect on your career prospects. Competition is tough, and every mark that you can earn this year could be the difference between going the route you want right away, or having to spend more getting where you want to be," says Mooney.

She says in the next few weeks, learners should create a single calendar incorporating all the important matters they need to attend to in the coming year, which includes the following:

ACADEMIC YEAR

Note down the dates of all the important tests and exams, and draft your study and revision timetable.

"A year sounds pretty long, but in Matric, the year is shorter and the final exams sooner than you are used to, so the best time to start revising is right away. Consistency is key, and by doing your bit every day, you won't need to deal with a seemingly insurmountable volume of work ahead of your exams. Instead, you'll be able to use revision time to solidify concepts and complete old papers," says Mooney.

SOCIAL EVENTS

"While it is obviously exciting to look forward to and plan your Matric dance, 40 days-celebration and so forth, you can't afford to spend too much time and energy on this during the year," says Mooney.

"So note down the important dates, note down when you will take some time out to plan for them, and then let it go until the time arrives."

FUTURE PLANS

On top of all the academic, social and life demands Matrics will face this year, they also need to decide what they are going to do after school.

"The world of work today looks completely different to the way it looked when your parents, guardians and teachers left school, so you have to do your own research. New jobs are being created all the time, and by the time you finish your studies, there will be careers that we can't even predict right now," says Mooney.

"Leaving the decision about higher education until later, means you won't have time to properly research your options. This is why we suggest learners do a bit of work on their future plans every week, so that they can thoroughly investigate what is on offer at both public universities and private, by doing online research, visiting campuses, and speaking to people who work in their prospective fields or who have studied at one of the institutions on their shortlist."

If learners timeously narrow down their options, they can avoid the rush when everyone else wakes up.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Sport and cultural activities, volunteering and part-time work are important for maintaining balance in your Matric year, but can take up a lot of time. Try not to add more to your plate this year. Take these activities into account in your start-of-year planning, and if you find yourself too squeezed for time later, consider lightening the load on your schedule.

OTHER MILESTONES

Many learners will turn 18 during their Matric year, which means there is some additional life admin to be done. For instance, those who turn 18 before the country's general elections in May, need to ensure that their ID is in order and that they are registered to vote if they intend to do so. Some may also wish to obtain their Driver's Licence, which means some time needs to be factored in for lessons and the actual test.

"Think about which other issues you want or need to sort out this year, and note that down in your year-at-a-glance calendar as well," says Mooney.

"When you look back at your school career, make the memory one of having taken charge of your future on the cusp of adulthood. Too many learners arrive in Matric and think they've reached the finishing line. What will set you apart from your peers – when applying for further study and applying for your first position, when Matric marks are still very important – is if you resolve to keep your head in the game now," says Mooney.

"There is a lot to be said for choosing an approach of delayed gratification during this year. If you use your time wisely and maturely, you will be able to both enjoy this significant period in your life, as well as optimally position yourself for future success."

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.


 


Dec 11
USE THE HOLIDAYS TO KICKSTART YOUR 2019 CAREER CHANGE PLANS


The coming weeks of relative workplace quiet provide the perfect opportunity for those considering a career change to put their plan into action, before the frenzy of back-to-work in January derails their big picture plans, an expert says.

"If you've been thinking about making a change, but never seem able to act on it because of the demands of daily life, now is your chance to lay down the building blocks from which you can propel yourself towards your goal next year," says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

"Few of us can afford to make a clean break at work and then start on a new path from scratch. So what you need to do is to use your downtime effectively to start working towards your goal," she says.

Mooney says the first step for those wanting to go in a new direction, is to determine what that direction is.

"And that is easier said than done. Many people know that they are not in the right field or in the right position, but feel stuck because they really don't know what to do instead. If that is the position in which you find yourself, the holidays provide a great chance to start researching potential new fields of interest, without the pressure of having to commit.

"Use this time to dream freely. Look at advertised positions online, and find those that excite you. Then look at the job requirements. Would you need to qualify in a new field? Would you be able to match your transferable skills to those required in the position, and then perhaps just supplement your existing qualifications with a short or part-time course? Determine how you can leverage your existing experience and qualifications while working towards your new goal."

Mooney adds that the research part of the strategy is crucial, because many people who have been in the workplace for a year or five may not be aware of the numerous new and exciting fields of study that are constantly emerging.

"In addition to checking what is currently in demand in the job market, you should also investigate courses and qualifications on offer at good higher education institutions. Particularly in the private sector, where there is more agility and responsiveness to what is in demand in the workplace, you will find fresh new fields and qualifications that may not even have existed when you achieved your first qualification," she says.

Young people in their mid-to-late twenties, who have been working for a few years after graduation, are often disappointed and disillusioned – even despondent – about their futures, notes Mooney.

"If you look around you and think 'is this really it?' then you need to know that the answer is an emphatic no. You are not married forever to your initial choice of qualification which you pursued after Matric. Things change. You have changed. And there are always means and ways to find a career that really excites you."

There is also evidence that it is becoming more common to change careers. The idea that we educate ourselves into one career for life is no longer the norm today. This is typically ascribed to the impact of technology on jobs and the workforce, and millennial thinking, Mooney says.

"You don't have to live the rest of your life wondering how things would have turned out if you pursued a different field. Building a career that you love takes time, perseverance, and constant strategising until you find the right fit."

It might also be helpful to find outside assistance to determine the way forward.

"Any higher education institution worth its salt should have graduate assistance available to guide you in terms of suitable qualifications to supplement your existing ones, to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be a year or two down the line.

"So don't just lounge around this December, but rather start taking small, low-stake actions which will get you going in the direction of your dream. Commit to ending the year with a clear understanding of which new skill or competency interests you, so that you already have a headstart on your new path when you see in the new year."


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.

 


Nov 23
STUDY CHOICES TODAY VS STUDY CHOICES OF THE PAST - CHOOSE WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU, NOW


Many Matrics considering their study options for next year are finding themselves in the difficult position of being at odds with their parents or guardians about their preferred direction. While this conundrum has always been around, it is even more pronounced today, given that there are a myriad qualifications and careers that didn't exist even a few years ago.

"Parents often have expectations of the potential careers they see their children pursuing, and it can be hard for them and their children to get on the same page when the parents are in favour of the more traditional qualifications, while the child would prefer to pursue a qualification the parents don't know much about," 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 it is important for families to have a respectful dialogue based on facts and research when they find themselves in this position.

 "If you are the young adult who would like to pursue a career in, for instance, digital marketing or game design and development, but your parents would rather you do a BCom at a public university, there are ways to get them to see your side of things," she says.

"And if you are the concerned parent, worried that your child's preferred qualification is lightyears away from what you think they should be doing, there are also a few ways you can set your mind at ease," says Payne.

She says it can be helpful for parents and future students finding themselves at loggerheads to approach the situation as follows:

DO THE RESEARCH AND UNDERSTAND THE OPTIONS

There are many more study options today than in the past. The range of qualifications on offer has grown exponentially, while the institutions offering them have also multiplied. All registered and accredited higher education institutions – whether they be public universities or private – are registered by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).   They are only registered if they have been accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).  

Looking up a qualification on the NQF is as easy as going to the SAQA website and typing in a few words.  An institution should also be able to give you the SAQA identity number immediately. This means that prospective students and their parents can be confident about the bona fides of any qualification they want to pursue, provided that the institution is recognised by DHET and the programme is listed on the NQF which can be found on the SAQA website.

FACE REALITY

The world of work looks a lot different today than it did a decade ago, with numerous new and emerging careers on offer, such as brand management, big data analysis, app development, and digital design, to name a few. The traditional, generic 3-year degree is no longer a golden ticket to landing a job. 

Prospective students would do well to pursue a career-focused qualification which fits well with their talents and interests, and which will prepare them to step into the workplace with confidence. Career-focused qualifications will often also include work-integrated learning, which allows students to build a portfolio of work throughout their time at varsity. This puts them in a much stronger position after graduation when applying for a position.

UNDERSTAND THE MARKETPLACE

What can you do with your qualification after graduation? That is an important question to ask before committing to a programme. A great way to determine the demand for a qualification and your future earning potential, is to look at career sites and job ads, to see how much demand there is in marketplace. Speaking to an advisor at a higher education institution's career centre can also go a long way to clarifying your prospects post-graduation.

UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVATION FOR STUDYING

Pursuing a degree requires a substantial investment of time and money. And handling the demands of higher education and young adulthood is not a walk in the park. The dropout rate among first years is very high, in part because the reason for heading to university wasn't sound. 

So if the motivation for further study is for the sake of status rather than to lay the foundations for a specific and successful career, or if a student is only studying to fulfil the wishes of their parents, it would be better to wait, investigate all the options, and only apply when they have found something that gets them really excited about your future.

"Parents need to understand that the best approach now is to study and prepare for a world that's changing, and that the traditional way and 'safe' careers may not be the best course of action," says Payne.

"And prospective students need to understand that while the difference in opinion may be frustrating, it is up to them to present their case calmly, clearly and respectfully, with the research to back up the viability and prospects of their choice."

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 CollegeThe 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 20
GRADE 11s - DO THIS BEFORE YOU LET YOUR HAIR DOWN THIS DECEMBER


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 CollegeVarsity CollegeThe 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.


Oct 31
MATRICS: FOCUS TO THE END AND MAKE EVERY MARK COUNT


As the Matrics settle into the rhythm of their final exams, an education expert has warned them not to become complacent thinking the 'worst' is behind them, but instead to knuckle down and give it their best sustained effort right until the end.

"It's all about strategy, and fighting for every last mark you are able to score in your remaining papers," says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

"Consistency is key right now, and you will thank your future self for not getting distracted by the light at the end of the tunnel, but rather approaching each paper as a new opportunity to take your grades from good to spectacular," says Payne.

She says the reason for not relaxing now, with mostly the "easier" subjects remaining, is because small aggregate differences, whether in a specific subject or overall results, can significantly influence options after school.

"There are so many more study options available to today's young people, both in terms of higher education institutions and qualifications, that they are really able to pick a closer match to their vision for their lives and careers than before. However greater options don't mean less competition for limited spaces, particularly in very popular new programmes such as Gaming, for instance, so every mark counts when institutions assess applications," she says.

Payne says learners should approach their remaining papers with a clear head:

DON'T PANIC

"If you didn't do as well as planned on subjects you've already written, you have to let it go," she says.

"There is nothing you can do about those papers now. However by doubling your efforts for remaining papers, you can potentially make up points that will improve your overall marks. There may also be the option of rewriting a paper, so focus on what you can still change, rather than dwell on that which is behind you."

DON'T REST ON YOUR LAURELS

"If you did better than you expected in the papers already written, good for you! However don't be tempted to slack now because the going is great. Gaining better marks than expected may open up a world of new opportunities that you were not even aware of, so make this final push count.

"You also don't want to ruin your great performance to date by doing worse than you were counting on in upcoming papers, thereby negating the earlier advantage gained."

COMBAT FATIGUE

Matric finals are a marathon, not a race, notes Payne.

"It is normal to start feeling fatigued as the end nears, but don't let that derail you. Ensure that  you get enough fresh air and exercise, and take short breaks to give your brain a complete rest. TV and social media can cause information overload, so limit your screen time apart from where you are using it to study. Focus on ticking off one subject at a time, and don't allow yourself to feel overwhelmed by looking at the whole list of papers you still need to complete," she says.

DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF THE BIG PICTURE

For some learners, things may at this stage have started to go seriously pear-shaped. Those who feel that they are facing a looming disaster should refrain from looking for solutions that will make things worse, such as considering cheating, for instance.

"Looking for the wrong kind of solutions now may be tempting, but may have far-reaching and even unfixable consequences on your life," says Payne.

"If things really are not going well, keep in mind that you do still have enough time to make up points in remaining subjects. Again, fighting for every mark now may mean that you have more options to rectify things after the exams, for instance by doing a rewrite or re-doing only one subject instead of the whole year.

"Yes, Matric marks are very important, but at the end of the day there are always options even if you didn't perform as you would have hoped, so don't resort to solutions which are bound to throw further problems your way."

Parents and guardians have an important role to play in coming weeks, to help learners stay motivated, says Payne.

"Help them visualise their goal for next year, help them re-arrange their study roster if necessary, and make sure that they stay positive and focused to perform at their very best right until the end," she says.

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 09
MATRICS: HOW TO OPTIMALLY MANAGE YOUR TIME & LIFE DURING FINAL EXAM SEASON


With Matric finals loading and learners heading to exam venues in a matter of days, the bulk of reviewing should now be over, and the limited time available before and during the exams should be strategically managed, an education expert says.

"The upcoming exams represent the culmination of 12 years of hard work, and will play an important part in determining what options are open to you after school," says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

"But even though the final exams are an undeniably important milestone, learners shouldn't become overwhelmed in the face of what lies ahead, and instead enter this period with a holistic strategy to perform at their best. Essentially, now is the time to draw up your roadmap for the challenging few weeks that lie ahead," he says.

Planning and reviewing should now move from the general to the specific by doing the following:

GET ORGANISED

Just before you enter the exam period is a good time to review your study schedule. What work do you still need to cover, and how much time will you have between papers? Draw up a new roster taking into account the realities of the next few weeks and ensure you stick to it.

Create a neat working environment and a clear plan for what you need to do and study every day, and ensure that you have all the necessary materials sorted and on hand.

NARROW DOWN YOUR REVIEWING

Once you enter the exam period, you should have adequately covered all your materials. With little time available between papers, you must now focus your attention on the sections of work that are almost certainly going to be tested and master them, rather than trying to re-read all your textbooks in their entirety.

BREATHE, AND GET YOUR HEAD IN THE RIGHT SPACE

Your biggest weapon right now is the ability to remain calm and perform under pressure. Download one of the many mindfulness apps available online (Headspace is a good one), and invest 5-10 minutes in calming down your nerves before you step into the exam room. Managing your anxiety ahead of each paper will go a long way towards helping you avoid mind blanks during the exam.

STAY HEALTHY

Don't start stress-eating or staying up into the early morning hours before an exam to cram. No matter how hard you worked, if your body and mind are tired and worn out, you won't be able to accurately reflect your effort in your papers.

Take regular scheduled breaks, get plenty of water, exercise and sleep, and ensure you eat as healthy as possible.

DON'T STRESS ABOUT PAPERS ALREADY WRITTEN, BUT DON'T RELAX TOO SOON EITHER

As the exam progresses and the list of subjects you still need to write become shorter and shorter, don't start relaxing too soon. Keeping the focus right until the end and working for each mark can mean the difference between being accepted into the institution and course of your choice, or having to look at other options.

On the other hand, if things didn't go well in one subject, let it go and focus on what lies ahead. Stop stressing about the subjects you've already written, because there is nothing more you can do about those results. You can, however, still make up for a disappointment by focusing and performing as well as possible in upcoming papers.

DEFER YOUR CONCERNS, BUT KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND

What if I don't pass as well as I need to? Have I left applying to uni too late? Don't let questions such as these take up mental energy during the exams. Instead, keep a laser focus on the task at hand – doing as well as possible on each paper, and earning every point you possibly can.

It is helpful to continually visualise your plans for next year, and match that dream with the performance you need to get there. But don't let these motivational thoughts turn negative. After the exams, you still have time to investigate all your study options, and to match your interests and performance to the amazing higher education paths available.

"It is worth taking stock now of where you are, determining what still need to be done, and getting to a space where you are able to stay strong, motivated and effective right until the end of the exams," says Ntshinga.

"Matric learners have a challenging yet exciting few weeks ahead of them, and going into it with the right frame of mind and a clear-cut strategy can mean the difference between and average performance and an exceptional one."

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
TOP IT JOBS OF THE FUTURE THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER NOW


With rapidly advancing technology, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, several IT jobs will grow in popularity in the not so distant future, creating huge demand for skilled professionals.

The demand for tech graduates continues to grow and there are several roles which will continue to attract growth. An array of tech and business skills will be required for nearly every position.

So what are the some of the top IT jobs that will be in high demand?

Computer vision engineer

Computer vision engineers build and improve computer vision and machine learning algorithms and analytics to detect, classify and track objects. With the advent of self-driving cars there's a huge amount of growth that is expected in this profession.

Machine learning engineer

This sophisticated professional is an advanced programmer who develops Artificial intelligence (AI) machines and systems that can learn and apply knowledge, performing advanced programming and algorithms to train these systems. AI will become a big investment area for tech departments of the future.

App developer

App developers will be in high demand. The developer will be someone who creates technological solutions for business problems.

Cloud engineer

As companies move important systems to the cloud, more and more are choosing a hybrid approach, with multiple vendors.

Alternative energy technician

With climate change threatening to damage the world, it will become more important to move to clean energy sources. Solar and wind energy for example will become part of the future.

FOR THE FULL LIST OF TOP IT JOBS, VISIT ROSEBANK COLLEGE.


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.



Sep 17
PUBLIC UNIVERSITY OR PRIVATE? HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT INSTITUTION FOR YOU.


There have been many developments in the higher education sector in past decades, notably a rise in the number of institutions from which prospective students can choose when considering their further education. Along with the increase in public universities, there has also been substantial growth in the private higher education sector.

Faced with this increase in choice, it is natural for young people to be anxious about their decision – should I go to a public university, or should I opt for a private higher education institution? A massive part of this concern, is whether the qualification you receive after 3 or 4 years of study, will be respected in the world of work, whether it will position you well to land your first job, and whether it will help you build the career of your dreams.

"It is so important that future students don't base their decision on their gut feel or vague perceptions," says Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education and Group Academic Director at ADvTECH, Africa's largest private education provider.

She says there is a concrete checklist that prospective students should measure their chosen institution against and, if all the boxes are checked, they can rest assured that their choice of institution can help them achieve their dreams.

"Ultimately, you have to make an informed choice based on your personal vision and circumstances, and you should not blindly follow a direction just because everyone else is going that route, or because you think that's the way to go," Coughlan says.

She advises prospective students, and their parents or guardians, to look at the following when considering or reviewing higher education institutions:

ACCREDITATION

Most importantly, your institution must be registered and accredited. South Africa has a single quality assurance system and one National Qualifications Framework, which means that any institution offering a registered and accredited qualification – whether public university or private – is offering a qualification of equal standing. So if your institution is listed on the Department of Higher Education and Training's list* of registered higher education institutions and colleges, you don't need to be concerned about whether the institution is called a university, a college, or a private higher education institution.

This is because the only difference between public (University) institutions and private higher education institutions – which purely as a result of regulations may not refer to themselves as private universities - is that the public institutions get some subsidy from the government while the private institutions don't.

EMPLOYER RECOGNITION

The world of work has changed dramatically over the past decade, and the economic climate is tough. That means prospective students should make sure that their qualification and their choice of institution is well respected by employers and in the market. Generic 3-year degrees with no practical experience do not provide a strong competitive advantage after graduation.

This means that young people should interrogate their institution about the following: curriculum, industry relationships, lecturer activity in the industry, and practical experience that form part of the studies.

The strongest qualifications today are the ones that are closely linked to specific careers and fields, and whose curricula are based on the competencies required to be work-ready from day one.

One way of determining industry recognition of your institution, is to ask about its career fairs, when the country's top companies visit campuses to meet students. If employers are lining up to meet the leaders of tomorrow at your institution, you can be assured that you are signing up for a quality education that is respected in the workplace.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

Many students want to know that their qualifications will be internationally recognised. If this is important for you, you should ask your institution about international links and accreditation. Does your institution have links with international exchange programmes, or is it accredited by an independent international accreditation council? All good institutions should be able to provide satisfactory answers to your questions about your potential international opportunities.

CLASS SIZES & STUDENT SUPPORT

Class sizes and student support are crucial for ensuring student success and successful transition into the world of work. Individual attention, and being more than a number, can dramatically influence student outcomes. But an institution's involvement should go further than quality lectures and success at exam time. Good institutions will have career centres which assist students and alumni beyond academics.

"The higher education landscape looks entirely different today from the way things were even a decade ago. These days, prospective students have a lot more choice in terms of institution and qualification," says Coughlan.

"To really make the right choice in terms of the best grounding for your career dreams, you have to look beyond historical perceptions and gut feelings about which way is 'the best' way, and make sure your choice is based on the facts about what makes one institution and qualification stand out from the next one," she says.

*www.dhet.gov.za/SitePages/DocRegisters.aspx

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.


 


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