CAO cuts student queues

2012-01-11 00:00

THE tragedy at the University of Johannesburg where a stampede resulted in the death of an applicant’s mother and left 17 people injured is every university’s nightmare.

But while it seems long queues, stampedes and strikes have become synonymous with the registration rush at universities elsewhere, KZN has cut the queues at its universities with the Central Applications Office (CAO), that allows prospective students to make early applications.

In KwaZulu-Natal a total of 83 201 matriculants passed the 2011 National Senior Certificate Examination, with 27 397 of candidates achieving bachelor passes.

They all want to know what space is available in the province’s institutions of higher learning?

The University of KwaZulu-Natal can accommodate an estimated 43 000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in an academic year.

The university’s spokesperson Nomonde Mbadi said that the university has received approximately 61 500 applications so far with 9 000 of them being first-year places at undergraduate level.

“First-year students who wish to use the online registration service are advised to come onto campus where assistance on the use of this facility will be provided,” she said.

Registration and orientation will take place from January 30 until February 4. The medical school’s registration will commence earlier on January 26.

The University of Zululand has received 46 553 applications for the KwaDlangezwa Campus and 6 174 potential students applied to enrol at the Richards Bay Campus which offers diplomas and certificates only. The University can only accommodate 4 600 first-year students.

The Durban University of Technology has received more than 50 000 applications through CAO for 2012, with 6 382 of these being first year students.

DUT’s Senior Director of Corporate Affairs Alan Khan said they are confident that registrations will start and end smoothly.

“We will not shut the door on a student who performed well in their matric examination provided we have the space available in that particular programme.

“This year we will implement phase one of the online registration system for two of our six faculties.

“Those students who can register online have already been notified,” he said.

Registrations at DUT will start on January 16 and will end on January 27. Through the CAO, the Mangosuthu University of Technology has received more than 30 000 applications from prospective students.

However, the university can only admit one out of every 10 students that have applied. Registration for first year students starts on January 16.

While the CAO is instrumental in easing the burden of long queues at universities through early applications, late applications are still a problem.

On behalf of KZN universities, the CAO has processed approximately 88 000 applications for the 2012 academic year.

CAO’s chief executive officer Ann Knock said they deal with students who apply on time while late applications have to go through the university. “The aim of the CAO is to take the application pressure off universities. Thus leaving the universities to focus on the more pressing issue of registration.

“The CAO only caters for KZN universities but the minister of Higher Education’s office is looking into formulating such a proposal to service the other regions,” she said.

Attempts to secure information from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme of South Africa with regards to financial aid were unsuccessful as they did not respond by the time of going to print.

43 000

The number of places at UKZN


61 500

The number of applicants

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