Functions Of Department Of Higher Education And Training, The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) was established in 2009 when the former Department of Education was divided into two sections: Basic Education and Higher Education and Training.
The mandate of the new Department included aspects of skills development which had previously resided in the Department of Labour.
The new Department was specifically established to focus on post-school education and training holistically and has extended its scope of operations extensively.
Our vision is of a South Africa in which we have a differentiated and fully-inclusive post-school system that allows South Africans to access relevant post-school education and training, in order to fulfil the economic and social goals of participation in an inclusive economy and society.
It is the mission of the Department of Higher Education and Training to develop capable, well-educated and skilled citizens who are able to compete in a sustainable, diversified and knowledge-intensive international economy, which meets the development goals of our country.
The Department will undertake this mission by reducing the skills bottlenecks, especially in priority and scarce skills areas, improving low participation rates in the post-school system , correcting distributions in the shape, size and distribution of access to post-school education and training and improving the quality and efficiency in the system, its sub-systems and institutions.
DHET Value Statement
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is committed to:
- Distinction and excellence in all our work efforts to develop a skilled and capable workforce for the country.
- Honesty, perseverance and commitment in providing differentiated education and training opportunities for all the people of South Africa.
- Efficiency of work habits and proficiency of all DHET employees in fulfilling the mandate of the Department.
- Teamwork, cooperation and solidarity in working with our partners in higher education and training to achieve the shared goals.
- Transformation imperatives to address social inequality, race, gender, age, geography, HIV/Aids and disability issues in all our higher education and training institutions in order to normalise them.
DHET Constitutional Mandate
Higher Education and Training derives its mandate from the supreme law of the Republic, the Constitution, within the purport of Section 29, read with schedule 4, which lists education at all levels, including tertiary education as a functional area of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence.
Education’s Section 29 rights
Section 29 states:
1. Everyone has a right:
- To a basic education, including adult basic education
- Further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible.
2. Everyone has the right to receive education in the official language or language of their choice in public educational institutions where that education is reasonably practicable. In order to ensure effective access to, and implementation of this right, the state must consider all reasonable educational alternatives, including single medium institutions, taking into account:
- The need to redress the results of past racially-discriminatory laws and practices.
3. Everyone has the right to establish and maintain, at their own expense, independent educational institutions that:
- Do not discriminate on the basis of race
- Are registered with the state
- Maintain standards that are not inferior to standards at comparable public educational institutions.
4. Subsection 3 does not preclude state subsidies for independent educational institutions.
DHET Legislative Mandate
The Higher Education Act provides for a unified and nationally planned system of higher education and for the statutory Council on Higher Education (CHE) (link www.che.org.za).
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS Act) provides for the granting of loans and bursaries to eligible students at universities as well as for the administration of such loans and bursaries.
The Further Education and Training Act (AET Act) provides for the establishment of public and private adult learning centres.
The Further Education and Training Act (FET Act) provides for the governance and funding of FET Colleges and matters related in providing an FET college education.
The Continuing Education and Training Act, 2006, (Act No 16 of 2006 (SET Act, 2006).
The National Qualification Framework Act (NQF Act) provides for the management of the NQF via level dispensations and related matters, as well as for qualifications and quality assurance of qualification required on the sub-frameworks of the NQF.
The Skills Development Levies Act provides for the imposition of skills development levies and matters related thereto.
The Skills Development Act provides for the creation of a National Skills Agency, establishment of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations and regulation of apprenticeships and learnerships and matters related to skills development.