Academic Planning

The department works on three areas to support academic planning. Firstly, there are continuing efforts to institute and implement an academic planning framework and an appropriate policy. The second area of focus is on providing extensive resources, support and advice on general academic planning issues. Part of this effort is by means of committee work but there is also an ongoing effort to build network-based resources. The third and most visible element of the work of the academic planning activities of the department is in the field of the development of new programmes to be included in our Programme and Qualifications Mix. This involves an extended process of consultation, provision of information and piloting the applications through the various stages of approval. This requires close internal liaison with the HEMIS office and the creation and maintenance of robust working relationships with the DHET, CHE and HEQC and with SAQA.


The key challenges facing the South African Higher Education system are to redress the past inequalities and to transform the higher education system by providing life-long education and training which will in turn contribute towards improving the quality of life and building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic society. The DHET seeks to provide a context for long range planning for the higher education and training sector through the development of relevant strategy and legislation. It guides the sector through the mechanisms of enrollment planning and differentiation , and through  programme approval and funding.


The South African Council on Higher Education (CHE) is an independent statutory body responsible for advising the Minister of Higher Education and Training on all higher education policy issues, and for quality assurance in higher education and training. 

The Council on Higher Education (CHE) has one permanent committee, the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). The HEQC has executive responsibility for quality promotion and quality assurance in higher education.


The South African Qualifications Authority is a body of 29 members appointed by the Ministers of Education and Labour. The members are nominated by identified national stakeholders in education and training. The functions of the Authority are essentially twofold:

  • To oversee the development of the NQF, by formulating and publishing policies and criteria for the registration of bodies responsible for establishing education and training standards or qualifications and for the accreditation of bodies responsible for monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of such standards and qualifications;
  • To oversee the implementation of the NQF by ensuring the registration, accreditation and assignment of functions to the bodies referred to above, as well as the registration of national standards and qualifications on the framework. It must also take steps to ensure that provisions for accreditation are complied with and where appropriate, that registered standards and qualifications are internationally comparable.