De­gree of pa­tience

Hun­dreds stand in queue from early hours to no avail

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - HEIDI GIOKOS heidi.giokos@inl.co.za

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.

PIC­TURE: NOKUTHULA MBATHA

PIC­TURE: NOKUTHULA MBATHA

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.

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