Wits will no longer offer the Graduate Diploma in Engineering (GDE) after 2012. Read more to find out what your options are if you had a GDE in your sights.

The government will no longer subsidise the Graduate Diploma in Engineering after 2012, therefore Wits will no longer be able to offer this diploma. It is similar to an Honours degree and of the same status, but is also open to non-engineering graduates and non-graduates under certain circumstances. It is a pity this useful qualification will no longer be offered.

But all is not lost. If you are one of the people who enrolled for the GDE to do the necessary courses to obtain the Advanced Rock Engineering Certificate (AREC), you could convert the GDE to an MSc (Engineering) by doing more courses or a reduced research project.

If you are a practitioner who wants to gain the AREC, you can also do it by attending the courses as short courses and passing the necessary exams. You will be able to register for the courses through Wits Enterprise and will receive individual certificates for each course that you pass. You could also register for an MSc (Engineering) but do more courses than required for the MSc, as well as the research component required for the MSc.

Prof Nielen van der Merwe, Professor, Centennial Chair for Rock Engineering, at the Wits School of Mining Engineering, says: “We will be talking to the Sanire Council early in 2012 to work out which courses we should offer in future and how often we should offer them.”

He adds: “We will also investigate the feasibility of offering a batch of courses in a single year, specifically aimed at the AREC. This will be determined by the number of possible candidates and the availability of lecturers. We are fortunate at Wits to have access to the in-house services of three PhDs and the part-time services of any number of experienced PhDs.