Too late for matrics

2011-01-15 20:21

For thousands of last year’s ­matriculants who unexpectedly qualified for bachelor studies, the good news came too late to ensure admission to university this year.

At universities City Press spoke to, the deadline for first-year applications was some time last year.

Furthermore, even before the improved matric results, universities had ­already received up to six times more applications than they could accommodate.

Universities said that because of ­limited resources they could admit only slightly more first-year ­students than they had in ­previous years.

Of the 537 543 candidates who wrote the national senior certificate (NSC) exams last year, 146 224 (27.2%) received a ­diploma pass and 126 371 (23.5%) a bachelors pass. In 2009, 109 697 received a bachelors pass.

Government’s target is to have 175 000 bachelors passes by 2014.

This week, between 30 000 and 40 000 late applicants queued at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), which offers both degree and diploma studies. Registrar­ ­Professor Marie Muller said those queuing included learners who were part of the 63 400 who ­applied last year, but whose Grade 11 results did not meet the university’s ­admission requirements.

Of last year’s applicants, UJ ­pre-selected 17 500 applicants for first-year studies, subject to their final results and availability of space. The university can ­ultimately ­accommodate approximately 13 000.

Wits spokesperson Shirona ­Patel said the institution admitted only 4 500 first years each year, and allowed a limited number of late applications. And, they ­received approximately 400 last week, she said.

At the University of Pretoria, most programmes were already full by end of October last year, ­according to university ­spokesperson, Sanku Tsunke.

The North West University’s Potchefstroom campus received 10 000 applications, of whom 4 500 were provisionally ­admitted.

The university’s spokesperson, Louis Jacobs, said all three of its campuses received substantially more applications.

The University of Stellenbosch admitted 4 700 first years this year – a slight increase from 4 641 last year.

At the University of Cape Town, the closing date for applications was September 30 and no late ­applications were processed.

According to Lacea Loader of the University of the Free State, the institution received a large number of late applications but was able to handle them without any difficulty.

On Monday, the Department of Higher Education and Training said there were 165 000 places for first years at universities.

The department said the places included 87 000 spaces ­earmarked for the class of 2010 and that the rest were taken up by students from other sources: repeaters, foreigners and those who quit their jobs for full-time studies.

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