HEQCIS

CHE > Faqs > HEQCIS

There is an Edu.Dex user manual, which is accessed as follows:

In the Edu.Dex application:

Select Help on the main Edu.Dex menu,

Select the Edu.Dex user manual menu item

OR

On the Edu.Dex web http://www.Praxis.co.za/EduDex

Select Level 3 – Training Provider on the left hand menu,

Download the Edu.Dex user manual (PDF document) in the right-hand pane.

 

You can also get help by e-mailing a description of your problems to the Edu.Dex support team at Edu.Dex@praxis.co.za  with your contact details (name, institution name, contact number). Someone on the Edu.Dex support staff will contact you.

Yes, the user name and password for Edu.Dex can be changed. Please consult the Administration Menu chapter in the help file. The section Edit Edu.Dex login credentials menu explains the process.

No. You don't need to have any other components or software installed to run Edu.Dex.

Edu.Dex has been developed for a Windows based platform.

If you would like to install Edu.Dex on an operating system other than Windows, please contact the Edu.Dex support team at Edu.Dex@praxis.co.za with your contact details (name, institution name, contact number). Someone on the Edu.Dex support staff will contact you to discuss the matter.

In order to retain the integrity of your own data, whilst at the same time meeting the requirements of the specification, please ensure that the extract of person records from your information system does the following:

If the person has a foreign postal address postal code, replace the full postal address with your institution’s postal address.

If the person has a foreign physical address postal code, replace the full physical address with your institution's physical address.

 

You don't need to change the data in your information system. You only need to replace the postal address and physical address for the affected person records, in the extract.

If the person is a current learner, please collect the required information from them. If the person can no longer be contacted, the Edu.Dex support desk will submit the incomplete data to the HEQCIS database as a once off exercise for your institution.

Please contact the Edu.Dex support team at Edu.Dex@praxis.co.za with your contact details (name, institution name, contact number). Someone on the Edu.Dex support staff will contact you to discuss the matter.

Set the disability status code for the learner to "None".

If the database has earlier information (perhaps from another provider) that shows this person has a disability, that information will be retained. The HEQCIS database automatically retains disability statuses other than "None". This can be manually overridden if an incorrect disability status was submitted to the HEQCIS database.

If that has happened, please contact the Edu.Dex support team at Edu.Dex@praxis.co.za with your contact details (name, institution name, contact number). Someone on the Edu.Dex support staff will contact you to discuss the matter.

There are two ways to indicate different or multiple sites in your data submissions. You need to discuss it with us first to determine the best route for your institution.

Please contact the Edu.Dex support team at Edu.Dex@praxis.co.za with your contact details (name, institution name, contact number). Someone on the Edu.Dex support staff will contact you to discuss the matter.

Yes, there are a number of different ways to upload data where the provider no longer exists, or has merged with another provider. We will need to discuss the matter in order to determine which of these best suits your specific circumstances.

Please contact the Edu.Dex support team at Edu.Dex@praxis.co.za with your contact details (name, institution name, contact number). Someone on the Edu.Dex support staff will contact you to discuss the matter.

Higher Education Quality Committee Information System.

Student information:

The HEQCIS database stores all the information for each person, who is studying or has studied, in one place. That means that each student has one record and all of the information for that student is stored there, regardless of how many different institutions they are or have been enrolled at. The database does not keep separate information for each student at each institution. (Technically: there is a person table that stores the details for each person as a single record.)

If a person who already has a qualification (or part of a qualification) enrolls for further study at another institution, and that institution sends new information about the person to the HEQCIS, the details that are stored for that person will be updated if the new information is more recent. If, however, there are concerns about the quality of the new information, then the old information will be retained.

Identifying students:

Each individual can be identified in a number of ways – for example by their national ID number, their passport number or by their student number. (And, for someone who has studied at different institutions, they will have different student numbers for each institution.) Because of the importance of these identifying numbers, they are never updated. If new identifying numbers are submitted, all of these will be saved. Student numbers are stored along with information about the provider so that it is clear which student numbers belong to which provider.

(Technically: the HEQCIS database has a separate table that stores the data values used to identify the person. If new identifying information is received for a person, the new student number and any other identifying values will be inserted into this table. Student numbers are saved together with the provider that issued the student number, making student numbers unique on a national level.)

Identifying enrolled students:

Each time a person enrolls for a particular programme, the database links them with a specific qualification code. (Qualification codes are specific to a provider and a provider may not use the qualification code of another provider.) The database has a record of every qualification that this person has ever been enrolled for.

(Technically: the HEQCIS database has a table that saves the details of a person enrolling on a qualification. This table stores student identifying information and the qualification code. Each time a student enrolls in another qualification, another record is added to this table. That way the database has a record of each enrolment.)

All the data that has been submitted about that student continues to be kept in the HEQCIS database.

Any data that has been submitted remains on the HEQCIS database.

The CHE collects data about students enrolled in public and private higher education and the qualifications that they are awarded. This information is collected so that we can pass it on to SAQA to add to the National Learners’ Records Database (NLRD). We are obliged to do this in terms of legislation that makes the CHE the Quality Council for Higher Education.

We also collect data about public and private higher education that helps us to better understand the state of higher education and how well it is performing. This information is used to inform the advice that we give to the Minister. Ultimately, this information assists planning and policy-making in higher education.

The Higher Education Act (Act 101 of 1997), chapter 2, par 6 says that: "Every national and provincial department of state, every publicly funded science, research and professional council and every higher education institution must provide the CHE with such information as the CHE may reasonably require for the performance of its functions in terms of this Act." Definitions (chapter 1, par 1) of the Act says that a "higher education institution" is defined to include those that are "registered or conditionally registered as a private higher education institution under this Act" so that private higher education institutions are required by the act to provide "such information as the CHE may reasonably require".

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act (Act 67 of 2008) established the Council on Higher Education as the "Quality Council (QC) for Higher Education" (chapter 5, paragraph 25). The functions of a QC, in terms of paragraph 27 (j) include that they must:

"(i) maintain a database of learner achievements and related matters for the purposes of this Act; and

(ii) submit such data in a format determined in consultation with the SAQA for recording on the national learners’ records database contemplated in section 13(1)(l)"

The mandate SAQA operates under is also obtained from the NQF Act, where the functions of SAQA include the requirement to "maintain a national learners' records database comprising registers of national qualifications, part-qualifications, learner achievements" (chapter 4, paragraph 13 (l)).”

The information collected by the HEQCIS is either needed in order to fulfil our obligation to send data to the NLRD, or is of use to us in assessing the state of higher education provision in South Africa. The exact data to be collected may change from time to time. The Higher Education Act and the National Qualifications Framework Act do not prescribe the data to be collected.

There is information that would be useful to us, but that institutions may not be able to supply – either because it is information that they do not collect, or because it is information that is sensitive and that they would prefer not to supply. Where the information is not absolutely necessary for our work, making it optional enables those who do have and are willing to share the data to provide us with at least some information.

No. The public higher education institutions provide much more data, but they send their data directly to the Department of Higher Education and Training. The data submitted by the public institutions is collected in the Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS), which is much more comprehensive and complex.

As far as student information is concerned, both HEMIS and the HEQCIS collect personal information such as student identity numbers and other identifying information. This information ensures unique and accurate identification of students.

1. The database benefits you and your students

The information supplied to the HEQCIS is submitted by the CHE to the National Learners’ Records Database (NLRD). This national information system is used by employers to verify the qualifications of employees and prospective employees. The NLRD is also used to assess the state of skills in the country and reflects the contribution that your institution makes to the country’s skills base.

2. For the national good

By assisting in building this database, we can build an understanding of the skills available in South Africa and of the higher education sector. This will assist decision-makers and national planners to make the most informed decisions concerning higher education and the labour market in South Africa.

3. It is a legal obligation

The Higher Education Act (Act 101 of 1997), chapter 2, par 6 says that: "Every national and provincial department of state, every publicly funded science, research and professional council and every higher education institution must provide the CHE with such information as the CHE may reasonably require for the performance of its functions in terms of this Act." Definitions (chapter 1, par 1) of the Act says that a "higher education institution" is defined to include those that are "registered or conditionally registered as a private higher education institution under this Act". So that private higher education institutions are required by the act to provide "such information as the CHE may reasonably require".

At present, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is contracted by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) to manage the HEQCIS. SAQA houses the HEQCIS on a server maintained by SAQA. This server is secured behind a firewall with strict access control.

Only three individuals have direct access to the HEQCIS database, the database administrator (DBA), the HEQCIS Manager, and the NLRD Director.

The information stored in the database is extracted twice per year and submitted to the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD). This is the responsibility of the DBA. The security of the NLRD is controlled by SAQA.

Reports on the data in the HEQCIS are prepared for the CHE and used to monitor the higher education sector. These reports only show aggregated data. Information from the HEQCIS is only published in aggregated form. Mailing lists are never published or handed to anyone.

No. Providers do not have access to the data in HEQCIS.

Institutions should make their own decisions about what is appropriate for their students. At the very least, institutions should make their students aware of the need to transmit their personal data to the CHE and to SAQA. It is currently not the norm among higher education institutions to ask students to sign consent, although one or two of the public universities do this.

If institutions feel that there might be a challenge from students, they should ask for consent. This can be done in one of two ways.

 

One option is to request students to sign a form indicating that they consent to their information being transmitted in this way. This can be included on the enrolment form.

Another option is to inform students that their information will be transmitted to the CHE and to SAQA and to give them the option to request that this does not happen. Students can be given a form to complete if they do not want to have their information transmitted.

For the student, there are three reasons for consenting:

1. Verification of the learner's achievements

Should a specific qualification stated on a CV not be found on the NLRD when a prospective employer searches for it, it might be considered that such an achievement does not exist. Although the verifications service recommends that the specific institution be consulted in the case where the achievement is not found, not all bother to make the enquiry.

2. Being included in skills searches

Sometimes the NLRD receives requests from third parties to do targeted mail-outs for specific jobs on offer that require people with specific achievements. In these cases, it is most beneficial to students to have their details on the NLRD.

3. For the national good

By assisting in building this database, we can build an understanding of the skills available in South Africa and in the higher education sector. This will assist decision-makers and national planners to make the most informed decisions concerning higher education and the labour market in South Africa.

Yes, the user name and password for Edu.Dex can be changed. Please consult the Administration Menu chapter in the help file. The section Edit Edu.Dex login credentials menu explains the process.