Nzimande: ‘Too few opt for FET colleges’

2012-01-04 00:00

ALTHOUGH Higher Education minister Dr Blade Nzimande was impressed by the drive of South African youths to acquire post-matric qualifications by flocking to tertiary institutions, he said he was disappoin­ted that students were choosing to register at universities rather than FET colleges.

Nzimande paid a surprise visit to monitor the registration process at the University of South Africa’s (Unisa) Durban campus yesterday.

During his visit, Nzimande was greeted with a long queue of prospective students, some of whom had spent the night in the queue with the hope of registering before the end of the day.

Others had arrived at the institution as early as 3 am yesterday.

The minister was met with complaints from students, who said that the registration process was too slow and disorganised.

Some were found sleeping in chairs as they waited to register in a long queue that snaked around the university’s buildings.

“I have decided to send officials from my department to ensure that no students sleep at university premises or have to wake-up at three in the morning, as I was told that some students had to resort to that.

“I am impressed by the enthusiasm shown by our youth towards studying.

“During this visit I discovered that the main reason behind the delay is the fact that students are not separated according to the courses they have selected and years they are registering for.

“It is also clear that, although the university has the facility to register online, most of our disadvantaged students could not access that system as they had to come and register physically,” Nzimande said.

He urged students not to concentrate only on obtaining university qualifications “as FET colleges offers skills that are most needed by the country.”

“I am not happy with the current registrations at our institutions of higher learning, as the ratio for FET colleges currently stands at 1:3 in favour of universities.

“Our universities’ system does not have the capacity to accommodate all students who want to study there, so students must also register at FETs.

“We want to improve registration at FET colleges to be 1:3 ratio in favour of FETs,”

Nzimande said he was planning a similar surprise visits to monitor registration processes in other universities across the country.

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