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High School vs Higher Education. How to step up

High School vs. Higher Education - How to step up

Congratulations, you’ve made it! You’re finally done with high school and ready to start the next chapter. Don’t believe everything you see in movies though – higher education isn’t just fun and games. It takes hard work, dedication, and a dream for a bright future to be successful.

Why higher education after school is so important

One of the common reasons for pursuing a higher education is to develop industry-specific skills before entering the workforce. This often makes you more employable, especially abroad.  But the benefits of pursuing a higher education stretches further than just a successful career. Along your learning journey you will acquire better communication skills, critical thinking skills, a sense of self-discipline and the confidence that comes with your accomplishment.

What makes high school different from higher education?

Time management

High school: Students are reminded by teachers of any homework they need to complete.

Higher education: Students are expected to complete assignments without being reminded by lecturers or tutors.

High school: Class starts and ends at a specific time every day.

Higher education: Class schedules vary depending on the course and students must manage their own time. Distance learners must juggle work and family commitments with their studies.

Learning material

High school: Textbooks are often provided by the school.

Higher education: Students are required to purchase their own textbooks, but study guides are often provided at little to no cost.

Class sizes

High school: Classes usually consist of 35 students at most.

Higher education: Depending on the institution, class sizes can vary from twenty to hundreds of students per class. There are also higher learning institutions such as the IMM Graduate School that offer students the opportunity to study remotely and attend lectures or tutorials online.

Lecturer Support

High school: Teachers usually assist students in areas they have trouble with.

Higher education: While there is generally limited access to lecturers, they are available during scheduled office hours and students are often expected to proactively seek out assistance.


High school: Exams may consist of only a small fraction of the learning material.

Higher education: Exams are made up of all the materials covered in the semester or year.


Taking the next step

Here are six tips on how you can transition from high school to higher education.

  1. Make sure you know what to expect. Get in touch with past and current students to discuss life as a student and address any concerns you may have upfront.
  2. Don’t doubt your own abilities. Feelings of self-doubt are normal in the beginning but don’t worry, you can do it!
  3. Be ready for failure. Everyone fails at some point, it’s part of the process of becoming successful. Remember that grades don’t measure your self-worth or potential. Don’t let one failure all wo you to give up. Keep trying.
  4. Learn to balance your social life and academic life. You can work hard and play hard but find a balance between your studies and social life.
  5. Be dedicated. If you thought you studied hard in school, get ready to hit the books even harder. Higher education is your gateway to a better future. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
  6. Enjoy yourself. Student life can be a fun experience but never forget the primary goal is to get an education.

We offer support, get in touch

If you’re not sure what to study, take our online quiz. https://imm.ac.za/not-sure-what-to-study/

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The Link between education and income

DCL Blog – The Link between education and income

The relationship between education and income

Education is defined as the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. In other words, it is the process of achieving knowledge, values, skills, beliefs, and moral habits.

Francis Bacon once said that “knowledge is power”. This is still true since higher education is a fundamental part of personal, national and global development. Not only does it shape independent minds, but it is also important for the continued growth of the economy. There are many reasons to seek higher education – some do it for job security, others do it to advance their knowledge but probably the most common reason is financial ambition. We all want to make a better life and for most this means we need to educate ourselves so we can qualify for positions that earn more.

The link between education and income

Generally, the more educated an individual is, the higher their income potential will be; education is often referred to as an investment in human capital.  

Matriculants in South Africa can expect to earn twice as much as someone with an incomplete high school career. Moreover, a tertiary certificate could result in a 63% increase in income while a bachelor’s degree would see a 330% jump. (BusinessTech, 2019)

To put this into perspective, data from Analytico covering a total sample size of 717,364 individuals in South Africa concluded that matriculants typically earn R4 977 per month, diploma holders earn R13 378 per month and bachelor’s degree holders earn upwards of R21 527 per month.

Why aren’t more people getting educated?

Even though education is considered a basic human right, only 13.8% of South African adults over the age of 20 attended school up until grade 7. Furthermore, 51% of South African youth between the ages of 18 and 24 claim they did not have the financial means to pay for their tuition. 18% of those aged between 18 and 24 who were not attending educational institutions stated that their poor academic performance prevented them from furthering their studies.

The benefits of higher education

A major benefit of furthering your studies is that a tertiary education equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with a wide range of challenges – both in their personal and professional lives. It broadens the mind and introduces a multitude of topics that the student may not have known about. The critical thinking skills developed through higher education allow one to ask better questions and solve more intricate problems.

Bottom line – tertiary education makes you more employable!

In this demanding and competitive job market, employers are only interested in the most qualified candidates. Also having a qualification gives an employer a benchmark of the level of work they can expect from you. Once qualified, you’ll be able to apply to jobs which specify a required level of tertiary education. Your chosen field of study and your grades can also be a deciding factor in your hiring.

Once you are employed, you are more likely to be considered for promotion into management and even executive levels, especially if you continue furthering your studies. The knowledge and skills you applied throughout your studies will help you to climb the ranks within your industry. These skills will also be applicable should you choose another profession at some point throughout your life.

In conclusion, higher education will benefit you personally and professionally. Not only will it open your mind to bigger and better things, but it will also help you to get ahead in your career. The truth is that in today’s highly competitive job market having a tertiary qualification is no longer an option but a necessity if you want to qualify for anything above the unskilled labour level.

Quality assurance in higher education

The IMM Graduate School | Blog article - Quality assurnace In higher education webQuality assurance in higher education institutions has become a major strategic issue.  Defining “quality assurance” is not that simple as it depends on the stakeholders and is based on internal processes. In most cases, institutions are also quality assured by external quality assurance agencies.

The Analytic Quality Glossary defines quality assurance as ‘the collections of policies, procedures, systems and practices internal or external to the organisation designed to achieve, maintain and enhance quality’. (Analytic Quality Glossary, updated January 2019)

Although quality assurance and the activities ensuring a robust quality assurance system are in many cases expensive and time consuming, it remains a necessary activity and the accreditation of higher education institutions is based on its quality assurance procedures and the delivery of quality programmes.

If we state that policies, procedures and systems must be in place as part of quality assurance, can we also state as indicated in the definition of quality assurance, that these activities enhance the quality of programmes?

Enhancing quality means that we work towards finding solutions to improve on the quality of our service and product, thereby ensuring the best student experience possible whilst working within the quality assurance procedures and processes.

One way to enhance quality is by building an academic community. Building an academic community means sharing best practice, ideas and debate around specific academic fields or the delivery of teaching and learning. With the development and growth of digital technology, many social media platforms are used not only for professional development, but also for mutual support among academics. These digital technology platforms serve in many cases as an online “class room” and substitutes the face-to-face teaching and learning aspects within the traditional classroom setting.

The development of digital resources increases the availability of information.  Although these resources enhance teaching and learning, the downside remains that there is a danger of increased plagiarism and unethical behaviour. These issues are currently experienced by many higher education institutions tarnishing academic integrity, an inseparable part of the quality and enhancement of higher education. Considering plagiarism and unethical behaviour, it forced higher education institutions to not only implement punitive systems to prevent and deter plagiarism, syndication and unethical behaviour but to educate users to what is expected when using resources.  Educating the students can take many forms such as best practice in in-text and referencing methods as well annotating information or apply theoretical concepts practically.

Teaching and learning must also be focused on the improvement of quality assured programmes for learners, parents, the workplace and society at large. In this regard the development of teaching and learning within the realm of online teaching and learning can play a major role to deliver cost effective education suitable to the learner’s specific needs. Innovation within the workplace is also constant, and higher education institutions have to ensure that graduates are well prepared for the workplace by following through on quality assured and innovative educational programmes.

Ensuring the quality of education and enhancing quality must and should remain the focus of all higher education intuitions. Christine Gregoire so aptly quoted: “One of the most powerful tools for empowering individuals and communities is making certain that any individual who wants to receive a quality education, can do so.”

Sources: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/christine_gregoire_167888?src=t_quality_education

Analytic Quality Glossary. Available from: http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/assurance.htm [Accessed on 15 April 2019]