Hopeful matriculants turned away at universities

By Drum Digital
06 January 2015

Matriculants standing in a two-hour-long queue at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, say they applied last year for admission but the university says not all of them will be accepted.

Matriculants standing in a two-hour-long queue at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, say they applied last year for admission but the university says not all of them will be accepted.

"In 2013 we had 70 000 applicants, but the reality is we can only accept 6 500 students. We also have to take into consideration students who failed and have to repeat first year subjects," says Carol Crosley the university’s registrar.

While some students say they applied to the university last year, others waited until today's matric results were announced before queuing at the registration desk.

"Unfortunately, we will not accept late applications today,” Carol says. "But we do encourage learners to apply with their Grade 11 results no matter how low the marks. Most ended up producing better results in matric and that improves their chances of being accepted.

University of the Witwatersrand (1)

"While we do not have a quota for who will be accepted at Wits and take into consideration each student’s socio-economic background, certain faculties have academic criteria for which students they accept," she adds.

Of the 70 000 applicants, Carol says that only half will not have met the requirements. And only a few will be eligible for enrolment.

Carol believes that Wits has the most flexible criteria which allows for a diverse group of students to study there.

"Twenty per cent of our learners are from quintile 1 or 2 schools [no-fee schools] and there is a special mandate to have 30 % of students from the rural areas," she says.

While the queue at Wits is a good indication that the Class of 2014 is confident that their good performance will give them the opportunity to enroll at university, many will still face disappointment. Learners are encouraged to make sure that they have made alternative study arrangements and have applied to more than one institution.

Meanwhile, learners who wish to study but have not applied to Stellenbosch University, in Cape Town, will have to wait until 2016. An answering machine message tells prospective students that the university will not consider late applications.

"Those who wish to apply for 2016, applications will open in March [2015]," advises the message.

Elsewhere, the University of Johannesburg – which had to deal with the death of an applicant’s mom in 2012 because of an on-campus stampede – will consider late applications, but there will be no queues.

The university has setup a website to guide those who file late applications.

Additional reporting by Thembisile Makgaleme

Find Love!

Men
Women