The Independent Institute of Education is South Africa’s largest private higher education institution which operates across 8 Varsity College Campuses. The Independent Institute of Education offers career oriented higher education qualifications from Higher Certificate to Masters levels and focuses on the integration of theory and its application with the modern world of work. As a result graduate uptake into the relevant industries is high with several companies recruiting students prior to graduation. Module pass rates exceed 80% ensuring that students graduate in as short a time as possible. The Independent Institute of Education leverages its industry and professional association relationships and endorsements and the external moderation of its qualifications to ensure that it delivers on its promise to offer focused, relevant high quality qualifications to its students as evidenced by our local accreditation and registration and our international institutional accreditation from the British Accreditation Council.
The IIE is responsible for the assessment and certification of both full-time and part-time (The Business School) students. It develops curricula and oversees their delivery while ensuring that the correct teaching and learning processes are implemented and adhered to. These processes are set out by 'The Senate', the senior decision-making body that determines the policies and regulations that govern all things academic. The Senate is chaired by the Director, who is also the head of The IIE. The Director is assisted by the Registrar, who is the Secretary of Senate. The remaining seats on Senate are occupied, in the most part, by academics and include representatives from Varsity College. Senate comprises a number of committees that variously manage the overseeing of standards, teaching, learning, curricula and assessment for over 60 accredited higher education qualifications. The Business School at Varsity College is represented on each of these committees.
The continual monitoring and improving of quality is of great importance to The IIE. The quality of The IIE programmes is assured through evidence-driven reviews, lecturer peer reviews, student success tracking and intervention programmes for students needing assistance.
A common area of confusion exists around the National Qualfications Framework (NQF) and the South African Qualfications Authority (SAQA), and the ensuing impact of skill development/training legislation on Short Learning Programmes.These programmes are intended to provide students with practical business information and know-how that can be implemented in the 'real world' business environment immediately. South African government is fully supportive of these programmes as they address market demands for training through a specfic format although they do not accrue credits as do formal full qualfications, and companies are able to claim returns on their Skills Development Levies if they have lodged a Workplace Skills Programme with their relevant SETA.
Our Short Learning Programmes (SLP's) utilise content from learning unit standards across several NQF bands to provide maximum focused, relevant knowledge and skills over a specfied time frame within a niched area of expertise. Thus, although the content does contain elements of learning unit standards taken from within the NQF scale, SAQA are not able to categorise our SLP's into one particular grade due to the diversity of content within the course material.
The Independent Institute of Education is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) which is the quality assurance authority for higher education. Part of our accreditation is linked to a commitment that we will apply the same quality assurance standards to short learning programmes as we do to full qualfications.
As long as training done for staff is part of a workplace skills plan and workplace training reports are being submitted, it remains possible to claim back spending on any short learning programme from the skills development levy. It is sometimes erroneously asserted that only SETA accredited courses, or those based on unit standards, qualify for the refund but this is not accurate. For specifc training needs in particular occupations, at certain levels, a SETA accredited or unit standard based short course may be the best training intervention.
Frequently though, the increased fexibility in terms of content and assessment that is possible through other short courses provide more suitable, efective and immediately applicable training for a certain organisational need. These short learning programmes do qualify for claims against the skills development levy, if properly recorded and accounted for in plans and reports.