Glen College of Agriculture in the Free State will be operating under the Department of Higher Education and Training, starting from April 1.
The move was approved by Cabinet in September last year, agriculture and rural development MEC William Bulwane said.
Bulwane explained the decision was taken to align colleges to the Higher Education Act, 1997 (101 of 1997), [as amended] which will lead to proper alignment with higher learning institution governance and management.
The function shift of colleges has propelled the college into a transitional planning phase that will now see The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) operation at Glen for the benefit of needy students.
It will also entail improved funding for higher education programmes and training of farmers, correctional offenders, and backyard food security gardeners through the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) division of the college.
The MEC said Covid-19 presented opportunities for Glen College to implement its Hybridized Open
Distance E-Learning project, which has led the college to be ready to enroll all students who applied for the 2021 academic year. This includes over 200 students expected students to be enrolled for Diploma in Agriculture and another 250 in TVET programmes.
Introduction of E-Learning has also presented an opportunity for the college to exclusively reserve the Glen Farm for rotational practical training as theoretical training will now be conducted via E-Learning in conjunction with the Free State Central University of Technology.
To that effect R15 million has been set aside for the 2021/22 financial year to support the college, said Bulwane.