Public providers can be referred to as universities, universities of technology and comprehensive universities. There are 23 in South Africa.
Private higher education providers, on the other hand, are owned by private organisations or individuals. Although many of them offer the same qualifications as public providers, private provider institutions are mostly privately funded (through student fees) and are not subsidised by the state.
The qualifications of both public and private higher education institutions must be accredited by the HEQC and registered on the NQF.