The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) calls on the 2016 successful Grade 12 students looking for a place to study in the post-school education and training (PSET) system in 2017 – especially those who already applied in 2016 but were unsuccessful in securing placement at institutions or programmes of their choice – to immediately register with the Central Application Clearing House (CACH).
CACH – which was established in 2012 – is a government online service designed to assist students who want to access university, college and skills development opportunities in the PSET. The services are particularly useful for applicants who applied for admission to a university or college in time, but have not been offered a place or their programme of choice. It can also be useful for prospective students who achieved better results than expected and now wish to access a different course or a university or TVET college.
While the CACH service does not guarantee placement at an institution the system has however been proven to significantly increase prospective students chances by making data readily available to all possible institutions in the PSET system. Applicants are matched to their examination results as supplied by the Department of Basic Education and the Independent Examination Board (IEB). The information is then shared with universities, TVET colleges, SETAs as well as some registered private colleges. These institutions will then select potential students from the list and make direct contact with them.
The CACH service is not only confined to offering guidance on university and college studies. It also provides information on all PSET opportunities including skills development opportunities and artisan programmes.
For students who remain unclear about which career to follow; CACH will also help redirect students to free career advice and information through DHET’s Khetha Career Development Service website (www.careerhelp.org.za). The service is designed to assist young people with making the right choices and to proactively decide on their future.
In 2016 alone CACH successfully placed 40% of the registered 18 747 applicants. This year CACH 2017 opened on 3 January and will be providing assistance to prospective students until the end of February.
CACH is the first phase of the DHET’s broader development project to streamline applications to the PSET system. The next phase is the central applications service (CAS), which once fully operational, will provide a single point of information and access to the PSET system.
The multifunctional “one-stop-shop” will provide access to career development services, applications for learning opportunities in universities and colleges, work-based skills development as well as applications for accommodation and financial aid.
One of the standout features of the CAS will be to offer prospective students an opportunity to apply to up to 10 programmes simultaneously through one standardised process with a single affordable fee.
Registration can be done on CACH’s new look website: http://cach.dhet.gov.za. Alternatively, prospective students can call the toll-free call center number on 0860 35 66 35 from 8am to 8pm. CACH is also contactable via standard SMS (name and ID) to 49200 or by email: CACH@dhet.gov.za.
Students who still wish to access financial aid for the 2017 academic year are urged to apply through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) website. Those wishing to study at TVET colleges can apply for financial aid from 09 January 2017 to 14 February 2017. Applications for financial assistance to universities are open from 09 January 2017 to 20 January 2017.