Applications inundate universities, colleges
Quality of matric passes in the spotlight
WESTERN Cape Education MEC Donald Grant has high hopes for the matric class of 2011.
“We are confident they will do themselves and the Western Cape proud, and we look forward to the final announcement early in January,” he said this week, adding that they were looking forward to a target of about 34 000 passes.
Meanwhile, higher education institutions in the province are being swamped by the many applications for entrance next year, with UCT receiving applications from five times the number of students they can accept.
Grant said his department would be closely examining the quality of the passes.
“This is significant because universities in South Africa and abroad look at the quality of the pass, setting requirements for bachelor degree study and diploma study.”
This year, he said, they were determined “to ensure our candidates achieve the best quality of pass possible, so that they are afforded access to higher education”.
Last year, only four of the 35 139 candidates who passed the National Senior Certificate exams did not qualify for access to higher education studies.
“In other words, 99.9 percent of pupils who passed the NSC examinations had access to some form of higher education. This is a remarkable achievement and we are hoping to achieve similar results this year,” Grant said.
He was also delighted that this year’s exams were completed with no major incident or disruption.
“Marking starts officially on December 7 and is planned to be completed by December 14. Each of the marking centres has strict security in place.”
The MEC said 3 200 people were appointed to mark the 800 000 exam papers.
“The criteria for markers is that they must have taught the relevant subject in Grade 12, have a second-year university level in the subject, five years teaching experience, and have taught the subject for two of the last three years.”
He added that the department piloted a competency testing programme for markers this year, to ensure the highest possible standards. “The competency tests were done in seven subjects – mathematics, physical science, history, life sciences, geography, accounting and business studies.”
A sample of papers would also be moderated by senior markers.
During the last week of this month, a National Standardisation meeting would standardise subjects. “Once the information is checked and verified, Umalusi declares the results fit for publication,” Grant said.
Individual results were expected to be released on January 5, but the national minister would announce the results the previous evening.
On the issue of tertiary studies, UCT spokeswoman Gerda Kruger said they had the capacity to accept only 4 000 first-year students for 2012.
“More than 20 000 applications for first-year places were received by September 30, 2011.”
The university’s commerce faculty had received the most applications during the past five years, Kruger said.
Stellenbosch University deputy registrar Neels Fourie said they received about 18 000 applications, of which 6 000 were for post- graduate programmes.
“Of the 12 000 applications for undergraduate programmes, nearly 7 800 were provisionally admitted for 2012,” said Fourie, adding that some courses were full.
Most students in recent years registered for the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences ( nearly 28 percent). The faculties of arts, social and health sciences and law also received many applications.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology spokesman Thami Nkwanyane said 29 113 first- year students had been accepted. Most were for nursing and radiography.
LAST LAP: Groote Schuur High School matric students write a final exam.