Degree of patience
Hundreds stand in queue from early hours to no avail
Would-be first-year UJ students wait in long queues yesterday hoping for good news about their applications.
HUNDREDS of student hopefuls queued outside the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Kingsway campus yesterday after registering online and still not knowing whether they had been accepted.
The queue snaked all the way down Auckland Avenue leading to one of the entrances to the main campus.
Security, together with student assistants, checked each of the eager applicants’ documents before allowing them entry.
Several of the would-be students told The Star they had been in the queue since the early hours of the morning and needed clarity on whether they had clinched a place.
While some of the prospective students had not met the criteria for the course they had applied for, they still continued to queue in the hope they could be accepted into another course.
This, however, was not the case for Tshepo Mashego, who had been in the queue all day with his parents and said he was not accepted for a law degree. He had, however, been accepted for public relations, a course which he had not applied for. Mashego’s father, Ghayane, said he was angered over the whole process as his son needed to study this year.
“We come all the way from Witbank to find out what is going on with my son’s application and we are just sent from pillar to post,” said Ghayane.
What infuriated the family even more was that the son had not applied for a public relations degree but was informed by the university he had been accepted for this course.
“He is not interested in that course. Now we are here, all the entrances are closed, all the gates are closed to the facility itself. We are roaming around and we don’t know what to do. My son is still in the queue. And we are not sure if we are even going to be assisted or not,” Ghayane said.
The Mashego family were concerned that those who were turned away would end up roaming the streets.
“These kids are going to roam the streets and become criminals if they are not accepted into university.
“What will they do with their lives? What will my son do for the whole year?” Ghayane asked.
Another prospective student, Musawenkosi Nene, matriculated in 2009 and decided to work for six years in order to save to pay for his university fees.
“I applied in 2015, and they gave me the runaround. Last year they also could not give me a clear answer. Today I want an answer,” said Nene.
Herman Esterhuizen, UJ’s media relations co-ordinator, said prospective students visiting the campus should only be asking for assistance for online registration and enquiries if they wished to change their choice of course.
“The university is (using a) strictly online registration process this year.
“The university also has an online site and a call centre for those who qualify,” said Esterhuizen.
He said all communication had been sent out to notify whether they had been accepted, detailing when they could register.
He reiterated that those queuing should be those who have received communication from the university and needed help with the online registration or course information.
“We have made it very clear the university will not accept walk-ins.”
The university said there was a late-enquiry system for those who did not apply on time.
“The system will indicate if there are spaces available for certain programmes. They can apply online. All our systems are online to avoid havoc,” Esterhuizen said.
AGONISING WAIT: Tebogo Boutlwanyi was among a large number of prospective students who stood in a long queue outside the University of Johannesburg Kingsway campus to find out whether their applications were successful.