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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.


 


Aug 24
LAST-MINUTE MATRIC STUDY TIPS (THAT DON'T INCLUDE CRAMMING)


With Matric mock exams looming large, an expert says there are a few ways to optimise limited study time during exams without resorting to cramming.

"While cramming may seem the most natural thing to do between papers, 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 just before the exams, 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 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.



Aug 08
TOP STUDY HACKS FROM THE EXPERTS AT THE IIE'S VARSITY COLLEGE



BA DegreeExams and tests can be very stressful, even more so if you’re unprepared.But these top study tips from The Independent Institute of Education's Varsity College are bound to make learning easier and more effective. 

Read your notes out loud

If you’re studying in a private area like your room, then this is a great way to retain more information and quicker. You are more likely to remember something faster if you read it out loud to yourself instead of reading it silently over and over again. Be considerate though. Do not try this in a library or while you’re sitting in class.

Treat yourself while you study

Studying is easier when you reward yourself for covering entire sections or reaching goals you’ve set for yourself. There are so many ways to do this, so incentivise yourself with things you enjoy. If you have a sweet tooth then you could treat yourself with a gummy bear for each section you cover. Music lovers could treat themselves to a song after each learning unit or chapter. These small victories will make studying for a test a bigger achievement. You’ll find it easier to remember theory based on your rewards. It is also a good way of boosting your morale during stressful times.

Diagrams, acronyms and visual associations

Taking what you’ve learned and turning it into a diagram or making some sort of rhyme or acronym around it will make it easy to recall when you need to. What you choose to do, depends on what works for you. If you’re more of a visual person, then diagrams and mind maps will be better. Whether it’s an actual drawing or something you’ve made up in your head, this is a handy study hack that can help you remember all those facts.

Times New Roman is the best study font

If you’re typing out your study notes then use Times New Roman. The font’s size and easy to read letters make it an ideal font for learning and note taking purposes. You can also space out your notes into smaller paragraphs. This will make them easier to read, digest and remember. A page filled with text and no breaks is more daunting than multiple pages with some big gaps.

Test yourself with flash cards

Flash cards are useful when testing your understanding and memory of quotes, definitions and key concepts. The key to making good flash cards is keeping them short. A key card should only have one word, anything longer can be confusing and hard to remember.

Take study breaks

When you’ve been studying for a long time your brain needs a short break every now and then to absorb the information. The Pomodoro technique suggests that you should take a 5-minute break after a 30 minute study session. This gives you time to unwind and process what you’ve learned. It will also help keep you refreshed by distancing yourself from your work and then returning with a clear mind. Plan your study schedule according to this rule to make the most of your time.

Meditation

Meditation is a study tool that helps you relax and stay calm before an exam. Meditation does more than just soothe the mind. It also helps keep your body comfortable after long hours behind your desk. Don’t let pre-exam anxiety slow you down. Give this stress relieving study hack a go.

Get a good night’s sleep before your exam

It is not a good idea to stay up all night learning before an exam. You should give yourself plenty of learning time before the exam and spend the day before revising. By getting a good rest before your exam, your brain will be able to better digest what you’ve learned. You also need to feel well rested and be at your best while writing your exams.

Take a walk before your exam

This final study hack will help you clear your mind and focus on the exam ahead. Take a 10 – 20-minute stroll to clear your mind right before your exam. By worrying or stressing yourself out, you are making it harder on yourself and will not be able to perform as well. Any light exercise will clear your mind and will help get you in the zone.

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.



Jul 31
DO YOU HAVE THESE TRAITS THAT RECRUITERS LOOK FOR IN GRADUATES?


You’re completing your degree this year and hoping to get your first position in 2019. The long road of studying is almost over! Whether you’re finishing off a Bachelor of Arts or a BCom Honours, you could soon be putting a CV together, sending it out, going for interviews and even negotiating your salary. If this seems a bit daunting it’s okay. Here are a few points on what recruiters like to see.

Communication skills

Yes, your qualification is important but being able to articulate is vital too. Recruiters looking to place graduates value the ability to communicate well. This is because effective communication means less room for confusion and conflict. It also gives management peace of mind that their newest employee will be able to share their input, contribute meaningfully to the business and voice grievances. Plus, employees who communicate are better to work with than those who keep everything in.

Problem-solving

You’ll find that many businesses are looking for candidates with strong problem-solving abilities. Why? Because hardcore and conceptual problem solving are a major currency in today’s world. Many subjects covered during the course of your degree will encourage this. If you’re able to come up with great ways to solve issues in the workplace on your own, nobody else's time or energy will be required. A post-graduate qualification like a BCom Honours will help you hone your problem-solving abilities, allowing you to add even more impressive skills to your CV.

Resilience

In an interview, it’s possible that you’ll be asked about how well you handle temporary setbacks. How would you respond to this question? While we all feel disappointed over certain things, it’s whether or not we allow them to stop us that makes all the difference. In the workplace, employers need to know that you won’t be discouraged from meeting company goals just because your first method might not have paid off. A successful career means never giving up and never giving in. This kind of determination goes a long way towards gaining the respect of management and your fellow colleagues. It’s a quality that is admired by many, so you might not want to overlook its importance.

Drive

When it comes to reaching the goals that we set for ourselves, drive is often a major factor that influences our success. So in the business world, your drive could positively affect more than just you and your performance. It’s why many companies look for graduates who display that they have a drive. How do you demonstrate yours? You should remember that there’s a fine line between too little and too much. Often, people tend to lose this drive as they encounter testing times of stress. This makes it important to hold on to it. As long as you have it, you’re well on your way to bigger things.

Confidence

How can you expect anybody else to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself? It’s a pretty powerful question when you consider what the right amount of confidence can do for you. Be warned though, there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. If you appear to display the latter, you might find it a struggle to get that dream job. Confidence shows an employer that you’ve got a high sense of self-worth and as a result, will always strive to give of your best. Studies have also shown that confident people are more pleasant to be around and bring out the best in team situations. If you back yourself, the chances are that your employer will back you, too. If you’re nervous in your interview don’t worry. It shows the recruiter that you have humility and the chances are, they’ve seen many a nervous candidate.

Teamwork

Being able to cooperate is a highly employable skill. Do you work well in a team and can you relate to those who are different to you? The reality is, the working world is full of diversity. This will be no different when you enter your first job. There will be people who work differently to you and who have different opinions on certain things. They’ll also be part of your department so you’ll encounter these differences on a daily basis. An inability to tolerate others and perform as a productive member of a team could result in you being overlooked. This is one of the most important “people skills” that a graduate should have. Vital aspects of teamwork are trust and understanding. Can you trust other members of your team to perform their roles without attempting to micro-manage or tell them how it should be done? By all means, help your peers but never do so in a way that makes you appear controlling and makes them feel incompetent. It’s lonely for those who can’t work well in teams. They make fewer friends in the workplace and they’re also less likely to get promoted.

Your dream job is out there

This is the most exciting time of your life. Be aware that you might discover another passion along the way. Sometimes you find the dream job and other times, it finds you. At The Independent Institute of Education's (The IIE) Varsity College, it’s our goal to prepare graduates for whatever line of work they choose. Through our qualified lecturers with industry experience to IIE qualifications that suit the modern working world, we know that you’re going to do great things. No matter your aspirations, a Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Management makes an impressive addition to your credentials. To find out more, please visit our website here. Varsity College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).


Jun 25
NQF EXPLAINED: WHAT PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS SHOULD KNOW BEFORE THEY SIGN UP


Terminology related to education in South Africa can often be very confusing, particularly when learners and prospective students need to consider the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and talk of accreditation and registration. It is however very important that prospective students get to grips with the terminology, as not doing so can have serious implications down the line, an education expert says.

Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education provider, says one of the most important aims of the NQF is to protect the general public from abuse by bogus education providers.  She also says that by developing an understanding of the NQF, you can make assumptions about registration and accreditation, which makes it all much easier to understand because a qualification that is not registered or accredited is not on the NQF, so it really is your shortcut to working out what is real and what is not.

"South Africa has a register of all qualifications which is managed by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), and this register is referred to as the NQF," she explains.

"We are fortunate in South Africa to have some really strict rules that educational institutions and training providers have to adhere to, so if you want to study there are a few simple questions to ask to which there are very clear answers.  If an institution is not clear with you on the answers, the chances are you should be cautious about registering."

Coughlan says that something can only be called a "qualification" if:

  1. It has a credit value of 120 as a minimum, and
  2. is registered on the NQF with an NQF ID (sometimes called a SAQA ID) number. 

"The shortest possible qualification is therefore normally one year as it takes about a year of study to do 120 credits.  A degree is normally at least 360 credits and so on. Without these two being in place, what you are studying is considered a short course and not a qualification, so it cannot be called a diploma or degree.  So, if a South African institution is offering you a diploma for three weeks of study, it is not legitimate and warning lights should start flashing about that institution."

Coughlan adds that if an education institution cannot provide a prospective student with a programme's NQF ID, caution should be exercised as it is then not a South African qualification.

However, even when an institution does provide an NQF ID, one should still verify it independently by searching for it on http://regqs.saqa.org.za/ .

"Look up the qualification and check its level and credit value, as well as information about what it covers. You can then compare that information to the marketing material given to you by the training provider to make sure that the promises and reality match."

Coughlan says that qualifications will only get registered on the NQF if they have been checked for quality and accredited by the Quality Council with the statutory responsibility for doing this. 

South Africa has three of these Quality Councils, she explains.

  1. Umalusi is responsible for "school level" qualifications which are on the first four levels of the NQF – Levels 1 to 4. 
  2. The Council on Higher Education (CHE) is responsible for higher education (post- secondary school) qualifications which are the ones on level 5 to 10 offered by registered private higher education institutions and public Universities. 
  3. The QCTO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations) manages vocational training and education from Level 1 through to level 6.  The level overlaps with Umalusi and the CHE, but the area of focus is very much the trades and occupations, from plumbing through to being a chef or even some areas of accounting.  These colleges are called TVET – Technical Vocational Education and Training Colleges.  (In the past called FET (Further Education and Training) Colleges.

Coughlan says the level on the NQF gives one an indication of how complicated the subject matter is.  Level 10 is where Doctorates are pitched, for instance, while Level 4 is the level of Grade 12. 

"Only registered private and public institutions can offer qualifications that are on the NQF, while both private and public institutions can offer on all levels and through approval from all the Quality Councils.  This means that the only difference between public (University) institutions and private higher education institutions – which may as a result of regulations not refer to themselves as private universities - is that the public institutions get some subsidy from the government while the private institutions don't."

Coughlan says when one has a clear understanding of the NQF, that information will assist you in deciding what to study and where.

"If, for instance, you want to follow a trade or vocation such as becoming a Chef, you need to find a college (public or private) accredited by the QCTO and registered as a private or public TVET College with a qualification on the NQF. 

"If however you want to pursue a higher education qualification such as a Higher Certificate, Degree or Diploma, you can investigate your options among any of the country's 26 public Universities or 116 registered private higher education institutions.

"As always, it is crucial for prospective students to thoroughly investigate all their options, to ensure they find the best fit for themselves in terms of location, campus, and offering."

* Prospective students can find a complete list of all registered private colleges and higher education institutions at: www.dhet.gov.za/SitePages/DocRegisters.aspx .

** GRAPHIC: NQF level breakdown

Sub Framework NQF levelQualification types
General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub Framework (GFETQSF)

Occupational Qualifications Sub Framework

(OQSF)

1Grade 9
2Grade 10/ National (vocational) Certificates level 2/ Occupational Certificates
3Grade 11/ National (vocational) Certificates level 3/ Occupational Certificates
4Grade 12/ National (vocational) Certificates level 4/ Occupational Certificates
Higher Education Qualification Sub Framework (HEQSF)5Higher Certificate/ Advanced National (vocational) Certificates/ Occupational Certificates
6Diploma/ Advanced Certificate/ Occupational Certificates
 7Degree/ Advanced Diploma/ Post-graduate Certificate
8Honours/Post-Graduate Diploma
9Masters
10Doctorate

 

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 28
THE IMPORTANCE OF MID-YEAR EXAMS - BY GRADE


It is easy to dismiss mid-year exams – which learners across South Africa will write in coming weeks - as less significant than end-of-year exams, but that would be a mistake, an expert says.

Peter Kriel, General Manager at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution, says mid-year exams play a significant role, and a very specific one in each grade, and should be taken as seriously as final exams.

"Many learners view mid-year exams as a kind of practice run before the big race at the end of the year, but that analogy is not the right one. In fact, from Grade 8, exams should be viewed as progressively building a house, laying the foundations, building with bricks and cement, rounding off and finally, putting the roof on the end product when you finish your Matric exams.

"If the foundations you lay at the start of your senior high years are not solid, or you neglect to ensure your walls are solidly built in subsequent years, you can attempt to put on the most beautiful roof in your Matric year, but it just won't work."

Kriel says each exam, and specifically each mid-year exam, plays a unique role as learners progress through senior high school.

GRADE 8

In this, high school learners' first significant mid-year exam, they start to get a good feel for and indication of their interests and strengths.

"You'll start to see what you're good at, and what needs more work if you are going to succeed in a specific subject," says Kriel.

He says learners should start applying these insights to start focusing their thinking around what they want to study after school.

"That finding will, in turn, help you make the very important choices about which subjects you'll select in Grade 9. If you start this thinking now, your path will crystallise sooner rather than later, which will help you focus your performance and efforts on your work, not on deciding what you want to do after school, or about the anxiety about which subjects to select next year."

Kriel says before settling on a future path, learners should use their time advantage in Grade 8 to thoroughly investigate all their options for higher education institutions and qualifications, and very importantly, entry requirements for each.

GRADE 9

With subject choices coming up for Grade 10 – 12, it's important to achieve good marks in those subjects that the learner would like to pursue to their finals in Matric. Grade 9 mid-years provide an indication of aptitude and likely future success in a subject. This insight allows a learner to make a call on whether to continue pursuing a subject despite less than stellar performance – which will mean working extra hard and getting additional help.

On the other hand, a learner may decide to rather switch to a different subject – it is not too late at this stage – to ensure a better average mark in years to come.

"It is important to ensure that you don't, for instance, drop a subject which would have kept doors open, unless you are absolutely sure you won't need it as an entry requirement at your chosen institution and for your chosen course," says Kriel.

GRADE 10

As in Grade 9, a poor mid-year performance may indicate that the learner needs to choose another subject to replace one that isn't working out. The difference is that this is the last opportunity to make a substitution, for instance moving from Maths to Maths Literacy, or substituting Accounting for Business Studies.

GRADE 11

From this year on, mid-year exams become even more significant, because learners can already use these marks to apply to their institution of choice early with provisional marks. Doing so will take mountains of stress and admin off them in the coming year and a half, when all their energies should be focused on their Matric preparation.

GRADE 12

Matric mid-year exam marks can – and should – be used to apply to a higher education institution if this was not yet done.

"If you haven't yet at this stage applied, ensure that you do so as soon as possible," says Kriel.

"Focus on your exams for now, but resolve to use the June holidays to visit all the good, registered and accredited institutions in your area to investigate what they have on offer, and get your application in before the stresses of the final months of your final year of school."

Matric mid-year exams also provide learners a valuable arsenal of insight into where they need to focus their attention and efforts in coming months, to ensure they get the very best final marks they can, Kriel says.

"All exams should also be viewed as an opportunity to get feedback on how well you handle exams, and to practise that skill if you find that the actual sitting down in the exam room and managing anxiety, despite your best preparation, is what you need to work on," says Kriel.

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 02
IIE VEGA STUDENTS RECEIVE TOP HONOURS IN GLOBAL COMPETITION


Vega, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), congratulates four of its students and their navigators for receiving top honours as the only South African tertiary institution to be recognised in 2017 international WPO competition!

Vega campuses across the country are buzzing with excitement after four students were recognised in the 2017 WPO International Packaging Design Student Competition, a global platform open exclusively to students who have won awards for packaging design in their home countries.

Eliana Raff and Page Lotze received a WorldStar Student Certificate of Merit for their joint project, “Ripe Time, Ripe Place”. 

Casey Ogilvie and Jason Walden each received a WorldStar Certificate of Recognition for their packaging submissions for and Bakers Eet-Sum-Mor Biscuits and Ensure. These students were part of Vega’s 2017 entries for the local IPSA Goldpack Awards, who were entered into the WPO International Packaging Design Student Competition.

“We are so proud of all our students whose work made it to such a prestigious and globally-recognised platform,” says Ria van Zyl, Academic Navigator at Vega. 

“This achievement is particularly special for both the school and the students as it is the first time Vega has been recognised in these awards.”

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 26
STUDENTS: DON'T GET TRIPPED UP BY OPEN BOOK ASSESSMENTS


Many students will, for the first time, encounter what is called an open book assessment once they start writing tests and exams at their public university or private higher education institution. And while the open book method is a great tool for measuring depth of understanding, too many students initially – and mistakenly - think that taking a book into the testing centre means little to no preparation is required. This could not be further from the truth, an education expert warns.

"Open book assessments are more engaging to the students, because they need to use a combination of memory, creativity and logical thinking. They also result in less pre-assessment anxiety for the students knowing they don't need to recall facts. This is especially advantageous to students who have difficulty in this area," says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

Payne says that it is however a major misconception that an open book assessment means there is no need to study or prepare before the exam.

"This is untrue, because students need to really engage with the material, understand how the concepts and theory can be applied and they should, in particular, practise any numeracy or practical content before they enter the exam room," she says.

Time management is also a factor in open book assessments, adds Payne.

"There is little time for students to page through their textbooks and other resources searching for answers. A good open book assessment will not have the answers in the permitted resources, but rather refer to the methods and related content. The assessment will still need to be engaged with and students required to provide a carefully considered response."

Payne says there is a familiar scenario that plays out for many students who are not used to the open book method of testing.

"Firstly, there may be a misconception that you don't need to study, because you will have access to prescribed textbooks and resources, which is false.

"Secondly, upon sitting down and reading the exam, students may realise that the books won't contain the answers as they may have thought.

"And then finally, the student may realise that the examiner doesn't want recalled facts, but a deeper understanding of the content."

It is therefore incumbent on all good institutions to ensure that new students – many of whom will be unfamiliar with the open book approach – are properly coached before entering the exam room, says Payne.

HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS MUST MODERNISE TESTING METHODS

In addition to ensuring students are empowered to perform optimally when taking open book tests, good institutions need to review and update the methodology of these kinds of tests, with particular attention to developments in the digital space, she says.

"Traditionally, open book assessments allowed students access to printed material authorised by their lecturers," notes Payne.

"That was acceptable when students purchased hard copy textbooks or used articles or publication as references. This is no longer the case. A large proportion of students, both nationally and internationally, no longer purchase hard copy books but rather make use of e-books, online videos, tutorials and web pages for their content and to enhance their learning. Taking this learning style into account, academic assessment methods need to adapt to the digital age."

However too many institutions remain reluctant to change their assessment methods and have discounted "the new way of learning" that the current generation of students use.

"Progressive institutions must make the necessary digital resources available for students to reference in the open book assessment, but still ensure that the assessment requires the students to use these as references and not search for an answer in the permissible resources.

"By providing access to these digital resources, it would be important for the institution to build in restrictions such as that no student will be able to message their peers. These can be restricted (along with locking down browsers) by using smart software solutions," she says.

The open book assessment makes sense when one looks forward to the workplace, where an employee will never be given a task while not being permitted to complete it by accessing the internet.

"The employer expects the employee to have the fundamental knowledge for their chosen career, but expects the employee to be able to use that knowledge to construct a solution – much like an open book assessment," says Payne.

She argues that if citizens and employees of today (and in future) are expected to have access to the internet to perform certain tasks in their daily lives, it doesn't make sense that institutions would be reluctant to test students without this resource and rather use traditional closed book assessments.

"We need to prepare our next generation to be able to adapt to the workplace and provide them the necessary skills to use to be more efficient and effective in their careers.

"Employers would prefer to have employees that can use all the tools available to them to come up with great solutions and not employees who are great at recalling facts. There will always be things we don't know, and this includes specialists in all areas or disciplines. The amount we don't know far exceeds that which we do. And the most valuable skill we can provide our youth is being able to sort and filter relevant information and apply it in a meaningful way."

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 27
ROCKSTAR IIE VEGA LECTURER ON HIS ROAD TO SUCCESS


Alex Sudheim is a Senior Copywriting Lecturer at The Independent Institute of Education's Vega School in Cape Town, and a practising professional copywriter. Careers24 chatted to Alex to find out more about his career and share some of his advice for others looking to get into this line of work both in terms of copywriting and lecturing.

After graduating with an English, Politics and Economics degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, Alex started writing stories about the more offbeat aspects of his home city’s culture and people. A series of these vignettes was published in the Mail & Guardian

“Soon I was the KZN Arts & Culture correspondent for the M&G. For four years I wrote about art, theatre, dance, music and cinema in KZN and won the Thomas Pringle Award from the South African English Institute for my efforts,” he says. 

He was then head-hunted by an executive from the prestigious international ad agency Ogilvy, and offered a job as a copywriter. At the time, he says, he didn’t even know what a copywriter was. 

“My school guidance counsellors appeared oblivious to the existence of ‘copywriting’ as a viable and lucrative vocation for students who loved words, language, arguing, and articulating ideas," he says.

“But soon I was crafting concept-driven narrative for brands such as Old Mutual, Unilever, Mondi, Wonderbra, East Coast Radio and more in mediums from print to billboard to online to interactive. It was exciting, fun and it paid well. How come the guidance counselling profession hadn’t heard of this?”

After making the transition from copywriter to copywriting lecturer seven years ago, he hasn’t looked back. 

“I continue to be inspired and fulfilled by guiding hungry young minds toward richly rewarding academic and professional careers. In my tenure as Senior Copywriting Lecturer thus far I have navigated my students to 11 Loeries, including the coveted Campaign Gold in 2017, and 6 Pendorings.”

Alex shared what his day to day looks like. To make the teaching and learning experience at Vega a more dynamic one, the creative degrees (Copywriting, Graphic Design, Multimedia Design) are broken into theory classes; craft classes; individual feedback sessions and in-studio work. 


“Daily activities predominantly involve lecturing, consulting and critiquing. Aside from the classes themselves, much time is spent on curriculum development – course content is in constant transformation in order to remain aligned with tumultuous changes in industry.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON CAREERS24.COM

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 01
HOW TO KICKSTART YOUR FREELANCE/CONSULTING CAREER IN STYLE


Business consultant, serial entrepreneur, and author Brent Spilkin, in partnership with Digitlab Academy, has turned his book What the Freelance (WTF) into a 12-week course at Vega School, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The book is set to launch in March.

Students can now study <i>What the Freelance</i> at Vega School

"There is a lot of information packed into those 313 pages, and that’s why I’ve turned it into the book you can’t buy," says Spilkin. 

Anyone who is freelancing in the digital or creative space, contemplating freelancing, or looking to improve their efficiency in managing freelancers, can now access information in bite-size, digestible and implementable pieces.

"We know the gig economy is growing," adds Spilkin. "Now is the time to upskill yourself and learn the tools to make your freelance career lucrative and sustainable. It’s not just about freedom and flexibility, but about being profitable and successful."

The 12-week short course is available at Vega campuses in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban. Sessions will take place on Thursday evenings from 17:30 to 20:30 and will be facilitated by experienced Vega Navigators. 

The course will be repeated in July and September. The total cost is R14 200.00 and payment terms are available. It’s also the only way individuals can get the book.

"We are proud to be able to deliver the WTF short course in partnership with Spilly, which we believe aligns perfectly with Vega’s aim of nurturing well-rounded, conceptually and strategically minded future leaders of industry, capable of finding solutions to the world’s challenges," says Shevon Lurie, MD of Vega.

For more information, visit www.whatthefreelance.com or www.vegaschool.com.


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