Ap­pli­ca­tions in­un­date uni­ver­si­ties, col­leges

Qual­ity of ma­tric passes in the spot­light

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - WARDA MEYER

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.

PIC­TURE: JA­SON BOUD

LAST LAP: Groote Schuur High School ma­tric stu­dents write a fi­nal exam.

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