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.

The Matriculation Board continues to provide an important service to students who do not meet the statutory minimum admission requirements to enter degree studies in public universities in South Africa. It is against this background that the Matriculation Board provides a second opportunity to non-traditional students and matured students to access higher education and therefore, succeeding in its mandate of widening participation to higher education.

In 2008, the new policy on minimum admission requirements was introduced with the first cohort of grade 12 learners obtaining the new National Senior Certificate (NSC) and entering universities in 2009. As the corollary effect of the introduction of NSC; was the three-tier admission requirement to higher education, namely: higher certificate, diploma and bachelor’s degree. It is envisaged that the services of the Matriculation Board or the future agency will be extended to include the regulation of minimum entry requirements to these three-tier admission levels and its services will, in time, be offered to both public and private higher education institutions.

USAf’’s Admissions Committee was established to take over the functions of the Matriculation Board once the statutory powers fall away. Since 2010, the Matriculation Board and Admissions Committee held joint meetings with Matriculation Board members reserving the right to vote on the issues that affect the Matriculation Board.

Members of joint the Admissions Committee and Matriculation Board:

  • Professor  Mamokgethi Phakeng (Chairperson: Admissions Committee)
  • Professor Cheryl Foxcroft
  • Professor  Sarah Howie
  • Professor Kinta Burger
  • Professor Kwena Masha
  • Dr Dan Mokoena
  • Dr Cila Myburgh
  • Ms Carol  Crosley
  • Ms Ntokozo Dlamini (SATN representative)
  • Ms Shriley Ferndale (SAPHE representative)
  • Dr M Rakometsi (Umalusi representative)
  • Dr Linda Meyer (Ex Officio)
  • Mr Hugh Amoore (Acting Chairperson: Matriculation Board)