The Matriculation Board has a long history that dates back to statutory responsibilities vested in the then Joint Matriculation Board (JMB). The JMB operated from 1918 to 1992 when it was dissolved and its records were transferred to the Matriculation Board, a statutory advisory structure of SAUVCA. The functions of moderation, examination and certification were transferred to the South African Certification Council – now known as Umalusi – while the function of determining minimum thresholds to degree studies was retained by the Matriculation Board.
The Higher Education Act 101 of 1997 provides for the functions of the Matriculation Board to determine minimum general university admission requirements better known as matriculation endorsement requirements which are determined and are published in the Government Gazette.
The Matriculation Board has a staff complement of 20 members who are responsible for administering the government-approved endorsement and exemption regulations and resolutions. The Matriculation Board committee continues to fulfil its statutory role and function in regulating admissions to degree studies, which entails a range of services:
- Certifying applications for exemption from the matriculation endorsement requirements;
- Benchmarking international and regional qualifications such as those from the South African Development Community (SADC) and maintaining international profiles on 176 countries; and
- Providing critical advisory services to schools, parents and higher education institutions regarding minimum admission requirements.