Late applicants may not get in - UJ
Johannesburg - Many of the prospective students flocking to the University of Johannesburg may not get in at all, the institution said on Tuesday.
From Monday, thousands of people descended on the university, trying to secure a last minute spot in the first-year class of 2011.
UJ's registrar, Professor Marie Muller, said the flurry of late applications could be attributed to the greater number of National Senior Certificate holders in Gauteng that obtained university admission in the 2010 exams, compared to last year.
Muller said students were still queuing outside the university on Tuesday. Most were first-time applicants. Some had applied with their Grade 11 results in 2010, were rejected, but fared better in their matric exams and were trying to get in on the strength of those results.
Around two thirds of the late applicants may not be accepted, she said.
Muller said even if these students complied with the minimum requirements for their chosen field, they may not necessarily get in.
"We have limited space," she said.
Those queuing outside the university's various campuses were handed application forms. At the Kingsway campus in Auckland Park, 100 late applicants were being allowed onto the campus at a time.
The university only had space for 13 000 first years and had already accepted 17 500 new students. Many of these had applied at other universities as well and may not register later this month, opting to go to another facility.
The late applicants would be told whether they would be accepted or not two days after applying.
UJ received 63 400 applications for first-year undergraduate studies in 2011, during the dedicated application period in 2010.
"The university's pre-selection is based on Grade 11 results and UJ conditionally admitted 17 500 applicants."
Muller said UJ may enrol 48 000 students in 2011. This figure included all undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The University of Limpopo experienced a similar problem with about 7 500 potential applicants or "walk-ins" converging on the institution, said spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba.
"We are having multiple enquiries especially from those who did not apply…Unfortunately, we have already issued provisional acceptance letters last year for those who applied in time," he said.
Applications for the university's Turfloop campus closed at the end of October last year and at the Medunsa campus applications closed at the end of August 2010.
The University of the Witwatersrand was not experiencing the high volumes of late applicants.
Late applications more stringent
Head of the Wits enrolment centre Carol Crosley said there were about 200 students queuing at the institution, but many of these had applied last year, were rejected, and were trying their luck again.
While Wits allowed for late applications, the late applicant admission requirements were more stringent, she said.
There was room in the Wits education school and in specialist degree programmes such as drama, but the other programmes were largely full.
University of SA spokesperson Doreen Gough said between 100 and 200 students had turned up on campus to apply at the last minute, but had been told it was too late. The closing date for applications was October last year.
Spokesperson for the University of Cape Town, Pat Lucas, said the institution was not facing an influx of late applications.
The University of the Free State also did not face the same problem, said spokesperson Lacea Loader.
Muller said UJ offered both degrees and diplomas, which could be among the reasons it faced large volumes of late applications.
Johannesburg metro police warned motorists on Tuesday to avoid roads near UJ where thousands of late applicants were causing traffic congestion.
"It's heavy," said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.
"Metro police have been deployed to Kingsway Road in Auckland Park to monitor the situation and assist with traffic as thousands of students have gone to the university early this morning (Tuesday)."