You had me at TVET. If you’ve heard of this type of institution but find yourself wondering if this is an option for you, wonder no more. We are here to shed some light on TVET Colleges and give you some perspective.
Most peeps run straight for university come the end of matric. When they think of university, they think higher grade tertiary education. ‘College’ has become a dirty word because there’s a misconception that TVET colleges offer lower grade education. Before we do a comparison, first thing’s first.
What is TVET College?
TVET is an abbreviation for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training courses are vocational or occupational by nature. This means that the student receives education and training with a view towards a specific range of jobs, employment or entrepreneurial possibilities. TVET colleges offer a wide range of tertiary qualifications in most fields of study such as:
- Arts and culture
- Commerce and management
- Training and development
- Manufacturing and technology
- Building construction and security
TVET Colleges: The Advantages
There are many reasons to consider registering at a TVET College like the fact that the entry requirements aren’t as strict as university. Many TVET colleges have student intakes several times during the year. So if you miss the registration bus and the universities turn their noses up at you, you don’t have to fret. Another bonus is that the fees are cheaper! For example, a three-year hospitality course at a TVET college is around R14 500 and at university, will cost around R21 000 per year.
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To TVET or not to TVET: How it Differs from University
University is great for academic, theory-based education for those wanting to be doctors, lawyers or accountants or any field geared towards knowledge rather than skills. Courses are theory heavy and are tested on how well a student knows and applies this theory. Studying at university also requires years of commitment – anything from three to seven years. University is ideal for those wanting to earn a recognised degree in order to enter a certain field.
What to expect at a TVET College
At a TVET College, you will develop technical skills and specialise in practical courses for what is known as ‘trades-people’ and incorporate on-the-job training. You’re tested on both theory and practical. If you want to learn technical skills and train under field experts then a TVET is for you.
A qualification at a TVET college could be a stepping stone to another qualification. Under certain conditions, some students may qualify for admission to a University of Technology to continue studies at a higher level in the same field of study that they were studying at the TVET College.
How to apply to a TVET College
In general, the entry requirements at TVETs are manageable to meet and the time spent studying is minimal so you can get working ASAP. Hello, paycheck! You’ll need to complete an application, submit your ID and proof of residence. You need a minimum Grade 9 pass and must be 16 and older to apply. At most TVET Colleges, you’ll have to write an entrance exam that will test your numeracy and literacy. In addition to this, some TVETs also require you do an interest test and an individual interview. The test results are used to help place you in the right programme and you’ll also be provided with the appropriate support to help close the gaps in your numeracy and literacy.