Influx of late varsity applicants in other provinces

2012-01-14 08:07

KwaZulu-Natal universities are experiencing an influx of late applicants desperate to secure a better future.

This comes in the wake of a stampede during late registration at the University of Johannesburg this week in which the mother of a prospective student was killed.

On Monday, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) had as many as 4 000 people seeking information on admissions.

More than 55 000 applications were received from prospective candidates jostling for the 6 382 first-year positions available.

While DUT spokesperson Alan Khan said management was exploring opportunities to increase the number of campuses in years to come, this remains a medium- to long-term effort.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has capacity to accommodate approximately 9 000 students at undergraduate level, but it has already received about 61 500 applications.

Topping the charts of career choices for UKZN hopefuls are education and social work.

Both these disciplines received as many as 16 000 applications this year, when in reality the university can only accommodate 650 for the Bachelor of Education degree and 120 students for the Bachelor of Social Work.

Nursing is also a favourite for the university, this year attracting 10 000 applications when only 50 can be accepted for the programme.

‘Terrible experience’

An applicant, who did not want to be named so as not to jeopardise her chances of acceptance, described her experience at the university this week as terrible.

“In terms of queues and comfort it’s been wonderful. But they definitely failed on attitude. We come straight from high school and some of us are not privileged to have a parent escorting us.

They could do with a little more tolerance and kindness in their approach instead of treating us like imbeciles,” said the 18-year-old from KwaMashu.

Another applicant had a positive experience. “I would say it’s been orderly. I arrived about two hours ago and received prompt assistance,” said Sbonelo Nzama from Mthwalume on the south coast.

At the University of Zululand’s KwaDlangezwa campus, 46 553 applications were received.

In addition, 6 174 candidates applied for enrolment at the Richards Bay Campus.

Based on its approved enrolment plan, the university can only accommodate 4 600 first-time entrants.

» Tertiary institution in Bloemfontein were not expecting large numbers of late applicants, Cathy Dlodlo reports.

At the Central University of Technology (CUT), 6 039 applications were received while 3 300 places were available for first-year students.

Lacea Loader, spokesperson for the University of the Free State (UFS), said the institution received a total of 13 000 applications while 4 000 new students can be accommodated.

Loader said approximately 30% of the students on campus this week were late applicants hoping to be accommodated.

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