Notice regarding Exit Qualification Options supported by AEE

September 2018

AEE is excited to partner with schools and home schools as we work towards impacting lives through value-based, quality education.

As has been communicated since 2015 the current Grade 12 A.C.E. School of Tomorrow College Entrance Certificate (CEC) will be phased out by 30 June 2019. The CEC qualification assumed its sunset phase as of 01 July 2015. Beyond 30 June 2019 the qualification will enjoy legacy status (similar to the Senior Certificate that was replaced by the National Senior Certificate in 2008); however students will need to have completed the qualification by 30 June 2019.

Universities South Africa (USAf) has also confirmed in writing that any student who has successfully completed the CEC by 30 June 2019 will be able to apply to tertiary institutions via the Senate’s Discretionary Route. After June 2019 students who complete all the requirements of the CEC will only receive a Certificate of Completion from AEE which does not represent a qualification.

In light of the CEC being phased out AEE has facilitated a process for students to complete an international A.C.E. qualification via dual enrolment with Lighthouse Christian Academy in the USA.

AEE has since 2015 done all the research and preparation necessary to ensure that we are strongly positioned to support all schools with curriculum, learning materials and essential services required to prepare students to write one of four reputable and recognised exit qualifications as from 2019.

1. The International A.C.E. Qualification in partnership with Lighthouse Christian Academy in the USA
2. The General Education Diploma (GED)
3. The Cambridge International Examination
4. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) via the Independent Examination Board (IEB).

The basket of four exit qualification options is available and fully supported by AEE. We are currently engaging with schools to assist with the implementation process and are extremely excited by the positive response and the traction we are experiencing.

Whilst assessing the exit qualification options and preparing for the 2019 transition the following recent development regarding the General Education Diploma (GED) should be noted:

  • Universities South Africa (USAf), previously known as HESA has confirmed in writing that they will not consider applications for foreign conditional exemption (required for degree studies at SA universities) from South African-based holders of the GED who

a) register for, or begin work on the GED after the end of 2018. (This will allow people currently enrolled for the GED to complete the credential, seek admission to a foreign university and apply to the Matriculation Board for foreign conditional exemption. It will however, mean that this route will be closed to new South African GED candidates); or
b) obtain the GED credential after December 2019.

The above effectively means that the GED option will not be recommendable for university bound students who want to study in South Africa. Any further developments and updates regarding any of the before mentioned options will be communicated via our various platforms during the coming weeks.


  • Does it qualify for South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) certificate of evaluation (equivalence)?
  • Does it qualify for the Universities South Africa (USAf) foreign conditional exemption?
  • Is the certificate recognised by SA tertiary institutions for admission purposes?

AEE cautions schools and parents from engaging in qualifications that do not meet the above criteria.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Experience Centre (087 820 4858) at the AEE Head Office if you have any questions or require assistance.

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