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.

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