Distance Learning Colleges

There are many reputable colleges that offer courses through distance learning, such as: 

  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Matric College
  • Skills Academy

Distance learning has been around for a long time, but has recently become the new normal due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

With this new surge in the distance learning industry, it is important to know where you can study, and which colleges are reputable and accredited.

What Is The Difference Between Online And Distance Learning?

There is no difference between online learning and distance learning. Both are terms used to refer to learning through correspondence. This is a form of learning mainly without face-to-face classes. Sometimes there are a few face-to-face classes, but mostly all course material is online.

What Is Distance Learning?

Distance learning is a way for students and workers to be able to study part-time while also doing other things, such as working to earn an income or taking care of their families.

Why Is Distance Learning Better?

Distance learning allows people to further their education. This also allows them to better their future opportunities without the risk of having to take time off work or spend too much time away from family. 

What Are The Challenges Of Distance Learning?

The main challenge of distance learning is self-discipline. You must have the control and discipline to be able to study when you need to, and to complete and submit assignments and tasks on time. 

How Is Distance Learning Done?

Distance learning uses online platforms such as WhatsApp, email, and Google Classroom to upload course material where students can access it at any time. This creates an easy way for students to be in charge of their own study times. 

Physical study materials, such as textbooks, will be sent via courier to be delivered directly to the student. 

This means that students can continue with other things such as work, while still furthering their education. Furthering their education can also improve future employment prospects.

Is Distance Learning Effective?

Yes, distance learning can be very effective, depending on the student. This is because the student is in charge of their own learning, which means their studies are their responsibility. 

Where Can I Study Through Distance Learning?

There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer short courses and fully accredited Diploma courses. Some of these colleges are: 

  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Matric College
  • Skills Academy
  • Ember Academy
  • Learning Group

What Can I Study Through Distance Learning?

These colleges each offer a different range of courses, which include: 

  • Matric programmes
  • Accredited ICB courses
  • NATED courses 
  • Short courses 

Matric Programmes

Matric programmes are available to help students get their Matric, whether they failed and would like to improve to a pass, did not get to write their Matric, or who passed but were unsatisfied with their results. 

A Matric Rewrite is available to those under the age of 21 who have written Matric, and would like to improve their results. You may rewrite a maximum of four subjects, and you may not change your subjects from those you wrote for your Matric final exams. 

A Matric Upgrade is available to those over the age of 21 who would like to improve their Matric results. You may upgrade a maximum of four subjects. However, you can choose to change any of these four subjects instead. 

An Adult Matric is available to anyone over the age of 21 who did not get to complete their high school education and write their Matric. Adult Matric is an opportunity for these students to be able to get their Matric. 

To apply for a Matric Rewrite or a Matric Upgrade, you will need: 

  • A certified copy of your ID
  • A copy of your Statement of Results

To apply for your Adult Matric, you will need: 

  • A certified copy of your ID
  • A copy of your Grade 9 certificate/report 

If you continued with school further than Grade 9, you will be required to submit your school report for the most recent completed year. For example, if you completed Grade 10 but only did half of Grade 11, you will submit your Grade 10 end of year report. 

Which Colleges Offer These Courses?

The three colleges that offer Matric programmes are: 

  • Matric College
  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Skills Academy

Accredited ICB Courses

ICB courses are accredited by ICB (the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and QCTO (the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations). This means that these qualifications can be recognised as formal qualifications by educational institutions and potential employers. 

ICB courses are recognised worldwide, which means you can study an ICB programme and then apply for jobs in your field all over the world. There are three ICB streams of study:

  • Business Management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Office Administration

These three streams of study also do not require you to have Matric to be able to apply, which means you can study any of these three courses without Matric. 

The entry requirements for each stream of study is as follows: 

  • Business Management – Grade 11
  • Financial Accounting – Grade 10
  • Office Administration – Matric OR Matric Equivalent

Which Colleges Offer These Courses?

These five colleges offer ICB courses: 

  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Matric College
  • Skills Academy
  • Ember Academy
  • Learning Group

NATED Courses

NATED stands for National Accredited Technical Education Diploma. These courses are designed by the Department of Higher Education and Training, and are accredited by QCTO. This means that NATED courses are also recognised as formal qualifications. 

NATED courses are also recognised globally, so you can apply for work worldwide. There are seven NATED streams of study: 

  • Business Management
  • Educare
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Legal Secretary
  • Management Assistant
  • Marketing Management

The only entry requirement for NATED courses is that you have passed your Matric. 

Which Colleges Offer These Courses?

The three colleges that offer NATED courses are:

  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Matric College
  • Skills Academy

Short Courses

Short courses are designed to equip you with the basic skills necessary to begin your career and get you work-ready as efficiently as possible. The short courses offered at these colleges are open-access, meaning you only need to meet two entry requirements: 

  1. You must be over the age of 16
  2. You must be able to understand, read and write in English

There are a wide variety of different short courses offered, and each college offers different ones. Some examples are: 

  • Beauty Therapy
  • Child Care
  • Digital Photography
  • Interior Decorating and Design
  • Management Courses
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Tourism Management
  • Wedding and Events Planning

Which Colleges Offer These Courses?

The four colleges that offer short courses are: 

  • Matric College
  • Skills Academy
  • Ember Academy
  • Learning Group

Is A Distance Education Degree Valid?

Yes, as long as the college where you study is accredited to offer the course you are studying, distance education is fully valid. 

Does NSFAS Fund Distance Learning Courses?

Yes, NSFAS does fund distance learning courses, but only through South African universities such as UNISA, or through South African TVET colleges. 

Do TVET Colleges Offer Distance Learning?

Yes, some TVET courses do offer courses through distance learning. However, no TVET college offers all of their courses through distance learning, so be sure to check with the TVET college you are applying to about whether they offer the course you want to study through distance learning. 

What Have We Learned?

  • Online learning and distance learning are forms of learning through correspondence
  • Distance learning allows the opportunity for students to continue working while they study
  • You must have self-discipline to be successful with distance learning
  • There are many reputable colleges that offer distance learning courses
  • There are many streams of study available through distance learning
  • Distance learning is completely valid as long as the course and college you are studying at are accredited
  • NSFAS funds distance learning through South African universities and TVET colleges
  • Some TVET colleges do offer some of their courses through distance learning

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: July 6, 2022