False Bay College has selected private provider – the Open Learning Group (OLG) to support its expansion strategies for student enrolment across five Western Cape campuses. False Bay College is a leading provider of Education and Training, mainly within the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector (formerly known as the FET College sector).

Its campuses are based in Fish Hoek, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Muizenberg and Westlake. The Government has outlined co-operation between public and private sector suppliers as an important departure point in increasing student enrolments and improving practices. Through this public private partnership, the way is paved for False Bay College to reach higher student numbers via distance learning.

“Government has a clear mandate for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector to increase the number of students by 4-million by the year 2030. This mandate, along with the entire skills shortage in South Africa, requires creative and innovative thinking supported by integrated solutions from both public and private sectors,” says OLG CEO, Etienne Stiglingh.

“The emphasis should be on Public Private Partnerships that will bring sector players together around the table to share problems and ideas and to find new ways of addressing the challenges. Through the implementation of distance-learning models and platforms that can manage students effectively from the onset; therefore ensuring greater efficiency; more development and growth can be achieved.”

As part of the partnership, fully developed study material for distance learning is provided by OLG and will be managed by OLG on an advanced learner management system.

“We have chosen to adopt and implement the N1 to N6 business and engineering studies on the distance learning platform to reach more students, due to the specifically tailored teaching and learning methods required in those programmes,” says Marian Theron, distance learning manager of False Bay College.

“Our growth strategy is aligned to the government’s initiative in the TVET sector and more specifically ties in with their strategy of attracting more students into the TVET colleges. False Bay College and its campuses are at capacity and OLG’s support and systems will not only assist students in full-time employment to study part-time but it will also offer students the opportunity to complete qualifications via distance learning where they may have failed one or more subjects in the past.”

In addition to the learner management system, a sophisticated web-based student administration system from OLG will also be implemented. It optimises business processes associated with the registration and management of students. Full administrative and logistics support for the delivery of the distance learning programmes will be provided to False Bay College students.

Such support will include comprehensive services such as support for False Bay College’s recruitment drives; data capturing and packaging of student information; printing and delivering material to students; Eduloan financing options; student support via SMSes and chats; receiving, recording and reporting on all assignment marks and the progress of students; and last but not least, training all staff to utilise the various platforms to be integrated.

“The main aim is to provide the industry with access to affordable administrative and logistical support to increase student throughput,” says Etienne Stiglingh, CEO of OLG. “The solutions are therefore specifically designed to assist academic staff with high volumes of students while maintaining quality standards. With this partnership, we really hope to make a difference for our client and to have an impact on the greater sector and the challenges experienced therein.”