Tertiary institutions obliged to turn away thousands
THE spaces available at many of South Africa’s tertiary institutions continue to be snapped up, with thousands of prospective students being turned away.
They are now being advised to apply to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
At the University of KwaZulu-Natal, social work is the most popular career choice, with a total of 15 804 applications received. Other popular courses include nursing and the bachelor of law degree, with 14 668 and 11 953 applications received respectively.
According to a statement issued by the university, 10 851 students applied for pharmacy, 7433 for dental therapy, and 6 200 for medicine.
The acting executive director of corporate relations, Normah Zondo, said the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine could, however, only accommodate 240 first-year students.
She said UKZN received about 91 000 on-time undergraduate applications via the Central Applications Office, but they could only accommodate 8 770 first-year students. “UKZN’s enrolment forecast for 2019 stands at approximately 45 000, for both first-year and returning students,” Zondo said.
At Stellenbosch University, only 290 students could be enrolled for medicine, whereas at UCT, of the 6 000 applicants, only 220 will be accepted.
The vice-dean at the Faculty of Medicine at Stellenbosch University, Professor Julia Blitz, said they followed a strict selection process for medical students to ensure the most suitable candidates were selected.
“Selection is based on academic merit, as well as non-academic criteria such as rural origin, leadership and historical disadvantage due to socio-economic status and race,” said Blitz.
Its media spokesperson, Martin Viljoen, said they had received almost 34000 applications, of which 17 700 were complete and could be considered for the 2019 intake.
“Approximately 11 200 offers were made. Stellenbosh University has 5 300 seats available for new first-year students, but has provisionally admitted about 11 200 first years to allow for those matriculants who do not make admission after the matric results become available, or who choose to study at another institution and do not take up their places (here).”
The spokesperson for UCT, Aamirah Sonday, added that it had received 62740 undergraduate applications to study in 2019.
“UCT can only accommodate around 4200 of the first-year undergraduate students across the six faculties.”
Wits registrar Carol Crosley said most universities were under pressure when it came to applications, and advised those unable to get through to apply to TVET colleges. She said Wits received more than 80 000 first-year applicants with a 5 200 capacity.