Low varsity admissions ‘reaching crisis level’

2012-01-10 13:04

The ANC Youth League has called on government to address the problem of low admission numbers to higher education institutions.

“The South African government ... should acknowledge the fact that the inability of institutions of higher learning to admit the entirety of learners who are eligible for higher education is reaching a crisis level,” said spokesperson Floyd Shivambu.

The league was reacting to reports that the mother of a prospective student died and 20 people were injured in a stampede at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) this morning.

It sent its condolences to the family of the woman killed.

Thousands of shocked prospective students and their parents stood outside the university after the stampede in a registration queue.

Ambulances and police cars were still parked at the Bunting road entrance, and police and university security staff were not allowing anybody in.

UJ registrar Marie Muller told eNews channel that the incident happened as students queued for last-minute applications to the tertiary institution.

The university received 5 000 applications from new entrants on Monday.

TimesLive reported that last year there were 11 000 first-year places available and that the university processed 85 000 applications.

The situation was similar at other universities.

Shivambu said the league would work together with the SA Students’ Congress to find solutions to the crisis.

It would also meet the UJ’s management and the higher education ministry.

“As youth, we carry the obligation to find sustainable solutions to the fact that our institutions of higher learning cannot accommodate all prospective eligible students who have the passion, capacity and will to further their studies,” said Shivambu.

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