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Higher certificate courses are a viable alternative to university education


Higher certificate programmes are an innovative alternative to matriculants who failed to obtain university entrance, but wish to continue studying towards a career. The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) higher certificate programme available at Vega School has valuable advantages to those unable to immediately embark on a fulltime university education.

Tertiary institutions such as Vega, an educational brand of The IIE, have been rethinking the conventional model of further education. In the mix of educational tools to grow the skills shortage in South Africa, higher certificate programmes present a valuable alternative. Many young learners who saw university as their natural progression to a chosen career may have been disappointed by their matric results but they no longer need to abandon that dream due to poor results.

“There is common agreement that we need to bring about a meaningful change in the country’s skills base. To address this need, The IIE has three higher certificate programmes in Photography, Creative Development and Brand Building which are available at Vega School to supplement its degree courses,” says Shevon Lurie, Managing Director at Vega School.

“We provide matriculants who failed to obtain university entrance with the option of a one-year bridge to undergraduate-level education. These are people fully capable of succeeding, and higher certificate courses are tailored to help them fulfil their academic potential and they do. There was an 84% pass rate for the higher certificate courses and many of those students go on to enter into our degree programs with great success. It is a valuable qualification in its own right, offering an entry to many remunerative careers, such as photography and branding,” continues Lurie.

Lurie adds that there are some important differences between a higher certificate and an undergraduate degree. Higher certificates are skills-based qualifications obtained over one year and typically put a lot of focus on developing industry-specific skills. This type of course can be completed with minimal requirements, such as matric exemption or equivalent.  Degrees take three or more years to complete.

“Vega is more orientated to critical thinking balanced with practical application, providing a rounded overview of the course. We still have some space available for higher certificates but interested parties need to apply as soon as possible,” concludes Lurie.

To apply for a higher certificate visit


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