Frequently asked Questions


Who are we?

HVT is a legally established tertiary education trust whose aim is to provide access to university education. In order to do this, HVT works in partnership with accredited universities. This means that all the courses, certificates, diplomas and degrees will be accredited by the Council for Higher Education (CHE), even though HVT itself is not an accredited university. HVT is created FOR the community, BY the community.

HVT was registered on 12 November 2018 (Reg. no IT001891/2018(C) with five members. Prof. John de Gruchy is the founding member of this initiative. The work of the HVT is directed by the Steering Committee, chaired by the Reverend Edwin Arrison and is made up of the chairs of the working committees as well as community representatives. The HVT will be governed by a Council made up of representatives of all the stakeholders. The Council is presently being formed.

The motivating values of HVT are:

transformation through education

education that is relevant and related to the needs of the Overberg

education that meets the aspiration of students

making tertiary education available for those that don’t have access

providing support structures through access to funding and tutoring

We believe that facilitating access to further education supports the creation of a stable economic and Social environment, thus supporting transformation in our community.

Why the name Hermanus Varsity Trust?

The name Hermanus Varsity Trust is a carefully considered and deliberate choice:

Hermanus – this is the epicentre of the initiative and the centre of the administrative hub.

Varsity – the Higher Education Act limits the use of the word “university” to accredited higher education institutions such as our partners

Trust – the orginisation shas been registered as a trust and will be led by a Board of Trustees.>

Who are the prospective students?

Students from the Overstrand area will have preference, but others may be admitted if there is sufficient space. HVT does not provide residential accommodation. The aim is to deliver qualify tertiary qualifications in Hermanus so that students can still live at home and, ultimately, gain employment in this area after they qualify.

Students who have the necessary entrance qualifications, as required by the participating Universities, qualify to register at HVT.

Those students who wish to upgrade their present qualifications as teachers, administrators, etc. The number of students to be registered will be limited during the first few years while HVT builds its capacity. We will not be able to register everyone who applies, but workshops will be offered about the course content, funding and how they will be taught.

What does HVT offer?

In 2019 and 2020, we will start with Phase 2 of this project. This is our pilot phase and we are partnering with 4 higher education institutions:

Stellenbosch University – a well established university that will offer support to high school students in attaining degree passes, as well as their extended degree programme to those that qualify for specific degrees and the SciMathUs programme aimed at facilitating improvement in the National Senior Certificate results.

Those students who wish to upgrade their present qualifications as teachers, administrators, etc. These programmes will be delivered through a combination of distance learning, online teaching and face-to-face tutoring and lecturing. Details of how each programme will be delivered will be available once finalised in the first quarter of 2019 or later in the year – depending on when the programme will commence.

Once the pilot is complete, HVT will be able to broaden its curriculum to address the regional skills and job-related educational needs.

More detail about how to qualify and register for these programmes will be made available in the first quarter of 2019 / end of 2020.


Where will HVT be housed?

The traffic circle at the intersection of the R43, Royal and Church Streets, represents the Western Boundary of the CBD and is considered the gateway to Hermanus. The area is generally referred to as the municipal /taxi rank precinct and is considered the gateway to Hermanus

The old Synagogue, a beautifully restored heritage site, located at the intersection above will be the Varsity headquarters.

The property will, in due course, be landscaped and so enhance the entrance to Hermanus town. We will take occupation early in 2019

Where will the lecture rooms be situated?

Most courses will be offered through distance learning model, with weekly tutoring support, thus the requirement for lecture rooms is limited.

The Varsity Campus will be decentralised, so whilst the administration building is in a fixed location, it is envisaged that only small tutorial groups will be accommodated here.

For other larger groups (2020 and beyond) the aim is to make use of existing spaces as far as possible. For larger groups the municipal auditorium may be rented, the Grobbelaar Saal, School halls, etc

The nature of some courses may guide the location of tutorials or practical sessions, for example it would make sense for marine biology tutorials to be based in the New Harbour.

Are additional building structures are going to be erected?

The intention is that the Hermanus Varsity Campus will be developed to include additional building/s, formal landscaping and parking.

The current building, only provides approximately, 450m2 of floor area.

What about the Municipal buildings / tennis courts land?

The decision regarding the future of the municipal buildings and the tennis court land adjacent to the campus is that of the municipality. Should the municipality decide to make the properties available to the public either in the form of a long lease or as a sales transaction, they will be required to follow a formal tender process.

The HVT may consider submitting a tender, but this will be dependent on our needs at the time, funding and tender conditions. Submission of a tender, however, does not guarantee any success of HVT acquiring the land.

How much additional traffic is going to be brought to the Campus?

The Varsity is in walking distance of those who live close by and students will also make use of public transport to a large extent. It is not envisaged that the Campus will impact on traffic. Bear in mind, that tutorials at the main campus will be limited and some classes will take place in the evenings.

Will parking be provided on the campus?

Yes, the campus will have to comply with the national building regulations, by providing the correct amount of parking bays, considering the use of the building.In addition, there are several public parking areas available in close vicinity to the campus which can be utilised if required.

Will student accommodation be provided – hostels built?

We will not be providing accommodation for students or building hostels. Our goal is for students to live and learn locally.


How many students will you have?

It is anticipated that the initial pilot intake of students may be 50. However, this depends on funding and whether students qualify for the programmes available. Incremental growth will occur as the full curriculum is introduced in phases from 2020 onwards.

Is there an opportunity for post graduate studies? If so, what?

The intention is to offer programmes for post graduates if this is made possible by the participating universities. However, these are still to be finalised. An Honours degree in education is already being considered.

What is the study medium I will use?

This differs, depending on the programme, but could be one or a combination of any of the following:

Self-study – where you register for a course and receive the course material. You then need to work through the material on your own and complete the assignments and exam. HVT will provide additional support in the form of tutoring.

Online – the course is delivered through an online platform. The student needs to log in and go through all the study material on the computer. .

Face to Face – – lectures as arranged by lecturers in Hermanus.

Webinars – lectures are presented in a classroom, but by a lecturer over the internet. Classrooms are managed by an HVT tutor who is suitably qualified.

How do I register for courses?

This will be finalised once we have finalised the arrangements with each of our partners.

Is there a cost to register?

Yes – this will be determined by HVT as well as the cost of the programme as determined by the participating university. Information will be provided when it is known. Students will be advised of cost when enrolling.

As a student of HVT, what are the benefits I receive in comparison to studying somewhere else?

Assistance in accessing courses, and especially tutoring which is not normally available in distance learning programme

Why do you not provide technical education?

HVT has limited resources. To this end, we are currently focussed on delivering programmes that can be offered online and through distance education. We acknowledge that artisanal skills are AS IMPORTANT as academic qualifications, but there are other institutions already offering training in these areas

What about the Gig Economy and the 4th industrial revolution – how are you preparing students?

Part of the decision around curriculum will be preparing students for the future. Our intention is to ensure that our partners include these skills in their offering, as well as including additional support in our tutoring.

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