FET stands for Further Education and Training, and is one of the bands of the South African education system.
The South African education system comprises of three bands:
- General Education and Training
- Further Education and Training
- Higher Education and Training
General Education and Training is essentially the first ten years of school education – Grade 0/R to Grade 9. Further Education and Training comprises of non-higher vocational and occupational education and training offered at colleges, as well as the last three years of high school (Grades 10-12). Higher Education is the education and training received at universities and universities of technology.
Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) is another category of education and training that is offered at both General and Further Education levels but is not usually occupational or vocational by nature. This form of education and training offers adults part-time studying at adult learning centres, after which they receive a nationally recognised certificate.
FET as post-school education and training
This band of education and training is also referred to as “post-school”, meaning that it refers to education and training that takes place after leaving school – even if only a Grade 9 has been completed. The age restriction for a person wishing to study at the FET level is 16 years.
The target student group is therefore dependable adolescents and adults who are serious about following an education and training programme, with the aim of acquiring practical skills.
The range of courses on offer at public FET Colleges is very diverse. Some colleges may offer up to 300 different courses. The length of the course and the admittance criteria will differ depending on the nature of the course.
FET College study options
Public FET Colleges offer a very wide range of programmes that are designed to resolve the skills shortage in South Africa.
Courses vary in duration – from a short course of a few hours, to a formal diploma course of three years. Naturally, the costs of the courses also vary considerably.
It is important to remember that the Department of Higher Education courses are subsidised. 80% of the delivery costs are covered, and for the remaining 20% that the student pays, many full bursaries are available.
The Department of Education is offering bursaries for FET college education and training. Furthermore, if you would like career advice, you can contact the Career Advice Services managed by SAQA.