Although 119 private higher education institutions (HEIs) are registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) with fewer than 10 percent of the number of South African students, they are showing increasing enrolments.
The total number of students enrolled in private HEIs in 2014 was approximately 140 000, an increase from 119 941 in 2013, according to the latest figures released this year by the DHET.
The Statistical Overview on the Provisioning of Post-School Education and Training for 2014 shows that in line with public HEI statistics, more women students were enrolled in private HEIs than men over the period 2011 to 2014.
Private HEIs are all private institutions that provide education and training programmes equivalent to those provided by traditional universities, comprehensive universities and universities of technology and that fall within the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF).
This requirement applies to both local and foreign institutions.
The statistics were provided to the DHET by 117 of the 119 private HEIs based on student enrolment for each programme at each of the institutions.
The figures also show that four times as many African students were enrolled compared with white students.
Close to 81 000 African students and 22 191 White students enrolled in private HEIs registered with the DHET in 2014.
South African students (126 286) were also in a clear majority compared with 12 921 non-South African students.
The figures show that the student enrolment of African, mixed race and Indian/Asian population groups has been increasing since 2012, while the numbers of white students enrolling has fluctuated.
The register of private HEIs is available on the Department’s website at www.dhet.gov.za.