As gazetted in the Government Gazette, Vol. 613, No. 40123, 06 July 2016, the last date for first-time students, enrolling in academic programmes that are not aligned with the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework, is the 31st December 2019. This means that you will not be able to enrol for a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) Degree at any institution in South Africa after this date. There are students who are still completing the National Diploma qualification in many institutions nationwide. By the time they complete the National Diploma qualification, they will be unable to enrol for B.Tech degree. The challenge facing candidates with the National Diploma qualification is that they won't be able to further their studies due to a lack of an immediately available bridging course to attaining a BEng qualification. These are the following reasons which highlight the unfairness process of the B.Tech qualification being phased out:
- Students who enrolled for National Diploma in 2015-2016 were not informed about the phasing out of B.Tech Degree. These students were not aware of the limited chances of continuing with their qualification.
- There are students who completed their theoretical subjects (S1-S4 Modules) however are still battling to finding In-service training, which makes it impossible for them to enrol for BTech on time. Both the Government and Institutions are not assisting the affected students.
- If you do not meet the requirements to enrol for B.tech Degree, you are required to have at least ONE-year work experience. Many students have completed their National Diploma qualification yet are still seeking employment. There is a high possibility, they will not meet the deadline for registration of the B.Tech Degree.
- We are aware of the advance diploma qualification as an alternative to the B.Tech degree however it won't be offered in all Universities of Technology in South Africa and that will lead to slow progress of going up the academic status.
Based on these points mentioned above we would like to challenge the motion of removing the BTech curriculum as it will affect students nationwide and as a result will cause a significant and detrimental effect on the future employment and studies of such students who are affected by this unfair change.
Signing this petition means that you fully support this movement of having the BTech curriculum extended so that students have enough time to complete their BTech studies as well as find in-service training.
Furthermore, it should be made a point that universities of technology should make new students aware that they will no longer provide national diploma studies at their institutions so as to prevent students from being misled and causing a backlog in the academic tertiary system.