New Central Application Service to be launched in 2019

A “one application, one fee” objective is at the core of the Department of Higher Education & Training’s (DHET’s) Central Application Service (CAS) for the post-school education and training (PSET) sector.
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CAS, which has been approved by the Minister and is scheduled for launch in 2019, is aimed at streamlining and simplifying the application and admissions process. CAS will be launched as a statutory body in 2018.
The new system allow applicants to use the system for a range of tasks such as investigating opportunities, preparing, submitting and changing applications’; considering and accepting offers.
In turn, the CAS system will prepare application cycles, capture off-line applications, check and submit applications, communicate with applicants, resolve queries and refer rejected applicants to other opportunities.
PSET institutions will prepare programme data, receive applications, select and make offers, and register and admit students. The main users of the system will be all entering undergraduates, who can apply for academic programmes as specified by individual institutions. It excludes returning students, postgraduate students and programmes that do not lead to approved qualifications.
Other stakeholders will also benefit as CAS will provide DHET with the ability to improve access to PSET opportunities, information for planning and efficient allocation of funding.
In the new CAS system, institutions will retain admissions autonomy, and get accurate real time information. One of the key benefits of the new system will be that applicants will get a simple, one application service and advice, and the application will be low cost.
Furthermore, the “one application, one fee” principle will apply to applications for multiple institutions and/or programmes.
Other benefits to the PSET sector include:

  • An easy, consistent and cost-effective process for applicants to apply to multiple institutions.
  • Control and autonomy over selection and admission.
  • The opportunity to streamline internal processes.
  • The ability to see multiple acceptances to reduce no-shows at registration.
  • Early access to offer rejected applicants other options.
  • A mechanism to register and select applicants without investing in their own systems.

The CAS service model principles include:

  • That policy and legislative matters remain with the DHET and it is responsible for ensuring compliance.
  • That participation should be compulsory for all applications.
  • That the focus is on applications handling, not admissions.
  • That CAS will provide a single point of information and access to the PSET.
  • Awareness of CAS before and during its launch will take place in schools and career advice services. Thereafter, it will be promoted annually through advertising, brochures, handouts and social media, highlighting key dates and deadlines.

The implementation plan will be done in stages and is likely start with universities, followed by TVET colleges, Unisa, community colleges and SETA learnerships.