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UFS admission criteria racist - YCL

2010-07-28 17:09

Bloemfontein - The University of the Free State's new admission criteria is an attempt to exclude black students, the Young Communist League claimed on Wednesday.

"We believe that the point system used by universities is inconsistent and has been a tool to ostracise students from disadvantaged backgrounds," league spokesperson Gugu Ndima said in a statement.

The UFS recently announced the minimum points required to gain admission to the university would increase from 28 to 30 for first-year students.

This was effective immediately, meaning students who would begin their undergraduate studies in 2011 would need to meet the new criteria.

"We are further shocked that (Rector) Professor Jonathan Jansen who at some point was labelled as 'one of our own' is administering this clearly racist access policy."

Ndima said the league hoped Jansen would change his decision and allow access to the "historically excluded".

The point system did not take into consideration that students from privileged schools had more subject options than those from schools in disadvantaged areas. A student could have only six subjects and still have to meet the same requirements with someone with 11 subjects, Ndima argued.

The league called on Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to intervene.

The university said the increased admissions requirements were part of its efforts at achieving excellent academic standards and educational quality.

"We believe that it is our responsibility as an educational institution to admit students that we are confident are likely to be successful, and also to provide the very best quality of teaching to ensure success," said Professor Driekie Hay, vice-rector of teaching and learning at the UFS.

She said the university was aware that large numbers of young people in the country attended schools not adequately resourced to provide the quality of teaching needed for successful university study.

However, Hay said the UFS was working with schools and talented pupils to address the problem. She said the university had several university preparation programmes for students with potential who did not meet the entrance criteria.