Dept could halt last-minute applications

2012-01-10 15:32

Johannesburg - The higher education department was considering halting last-minute university applications after a woman was killed in a stampede at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday, Minister Blade Nzimande said.

"It's something that we are seriously considering that maybe we should not consider 'walk-ins'," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"We think that the price we are paying is too much."

Twenty-two people were injured in the stampede, caused by thousands of prospective students queuing outside the university for last-minute applications, Johannesburg metro police said earlier.

The University of Johannesburg is one of few universities countrywide that accepts last-minute applications from prospective students who achieved unexpected university entrance passes.

The woman who died was the mother of a prospective student.

The university's vice chancellor, Ihron Rensburg, said the volume of applications for the current academic year was 85 000, much higher than the 67 000 of last year.

He said 99% of this year's applicants were seeking admission for undergraduate studies.

"We are the only university that offers diploma courses at undergraduate level. Our undergraduate entry requirements make many high school graduates apply to this institution because of the high chances of being admitted," said Rensburg.

Nzimande expressed concern that prospective students did not have enough information on the application process and that Further Education and Training colleges were good alternatives for study.

He said some prospective students did not know what they wanted to study and this "clogged" queues because of "on the spot counselling".

The department hoped to roll out a centralised admissions process, currently being piloted in KwaZulu-Natal, to avoid incidents such as Tuesday's, said Nzimande.

  • jody.beggs - 2012-01-10 15:46

    Reactionary government , can't they plan ahead ? Damn the man.

      Willie - 2012-01-10 16:45

      Hallo Blade did you wakeup now.Who is reactionary stop sleeping on the job and forget about your ego please.Start working.When are you: 1 Going to build a university/college in Northern Cape 2 Going to build a university/college in Mpumalanga You failing in your duties komunisi

  • lunghile.ndleve - 2012-01-10 15:47

    No Blade, no!!!! That is not the solution!!! Increase University capacity, university application close around August each year and some people still haven't realized their full potential. Denying them an opportunity to register when they pass well at the end of the year will just compound the problem... So what are you gonna do with them the next year? Coz the universities will still have the same capacity!!!!!

      makatika - 2012-01-10 16:02

      Your point is clear but increasing the capacity is a long term process, and I understand turning them away is also not an option another option is needed like improving other institution so student don't feel like UJ is the one and only, why there is no stampede at TUT, Vaal, etc. Improve the quality of education at all other Universities

      Repline - 2012-01-10 16:06

      Well personally i think there is two options. 1) The government should ensure matric results are released earlier, before university applications close or if that is impossible; 2) The people that failed based on their Grade 11 marks should only be allowed to apply the following year. Option 2 is a harsh way, but that is also perhaps a "wake-up" call for the prospective students to give their best. They will probably take a gap year or go and work and earn a living for a year so they can realise what hard work is needed in the 'real-life'.

      joellen - 2012-01-10 16:30

      Its not the standard of education that is drawing so many students to UJ, it is the low admission requirements, read the article properly.

      Steve - 2012-01-11 08:38

      @makatika. It has nothing ot do with increasing the quality at other Universities to match UJ!!! You make it sound like this happened at UJ because it is better than any other University. That is just not true - it happened here becuase it is the easiest to get into. To quote the Vice Chancellor "We are the only university that offers diploma courses at undergraduate level. Our undergraduate entry requirements make many high school graduates apply to this institution because of the high chances of being admitted,"

      Simon - 2012-01-11 13:08

      @repline so r u insinuating that grade 11 is enough 2 determine if some1 is eligible enough 2 be in university??i dont thnk so...grade 11 exams r not standardised by any body except the IEB, how many students write the IEB??...the standard of testing in the final grade 11 exams vary 4rm school 2 school and its not properly monitored, marks may even way easily b altered given the excessive corruption we have in our country. All that needs 2 b done is up the standard of matric and hose of the varsity requirements especially UJ..their prospectus is SHOCKING!! thats y every1 thinks that they can get in, bcoz of their very low requirements

  • Nosiphom - 2012-01-10 15:52

    They had a whole year to plan but did nothing. Only a disaster spurs them into action - they are like the traffic authorities who only react after deaths, sies!

  • Samantha - 2012-01-10 15:52

    this is the future of South Africa!!!- :(- and look at the condition of the campus - disgusting!- why werent there those metal rails to have lines- what a tragic situation

      Irene - 2012-01-10 17:13

      Samantha, that this is the future is beyond frightening!

  • Phill - 2012-01-10 15:54

    This is the talk we always expect from Blade Nzimande. A coward and a true reactionary. Where is planning Mr Know-it-all? The parasite is enjoying a cushy deployment from the ANC. I've never seen such a selfish communist. Anyway, all communists are liars.

  • Mr C - 2012-01-10 15:57

    welcome ladies & gentlemen to the future of SA... Please could someone explain the following to me: "unexpected university entrance passes" You either get it or you dont right??

      Deeteem - 2012-01-10 16:05

      If you are doff in grade 11, you will still be doff in grade 12 !!!

      Marlene - 2012-01-10 23:34

      Mr. C, welcome to the world of reality - we are a very small club it seems ! I am talking old school here. You took all subjects up to Std 8. Then you choose the six (maybe one more), which you would matriculate in. Thus you KNEW THEN ALREADY what you would be studying at tertiary levels. At the beginning of std 10 you applied for the varsity that gave your course, and ofcourse away from home, there was residence aswell. You were provisionally accepted on the results of your "Mock Matric" and accepted on your Matric results. Re question .. There should be NO unexpected matric results .. you knew them at the end of std 8 !! You should know then what you want to study further and choose the appropriate subjects and study like hell to get at least a 70/80 percent pass rate. Just my 5 cents worth.

      Simon - 2012-01-11 13:15

      no no no @ deeteem some students that go 2 'not so good schools' get super gr8 marks in grade 11 bcoz of the standard of testing in their grade11 and end up under performing in their grade 12, what about those that went 2 good schools that pushed them super hard just 2 perform way better in matric and did not perform as gr8 in grade11 ...thats normally the case with alot of IEB schools

  • Deon - 2012-01-10 15:59

    I agree, stop late application.

  • Moses - 2012-01-10 16:01

    It is very painful to see this happening, who to be blamed? who can be blamed? Who can be blamed? Is there a relationship between the university and the community? When was the last time the university having workshops teaching parents mentoring their children career wise? Where are the grade twelve teachers? Grade eleven? Grade ten? Where career information should be injected to a learners mind?

  • Adam - 2012-01-10 16:07

    This incident made BBC World News this morning on my side of the pond. The BBC correspondent added that 50% of South African youth remain unemployed. Wonderful !!!! Some negative news to start the day for viewers to postulate on, be it brief.

  • Larry - 2012-01-10 16:08

    There is a need for more Universities, Particularly outside of the Big Cities. When was the last Uni built?

      procold2 - 2012-01-10 16:26

      They cant because the money allocated has been stolen.

  • Mashudu - 2012-01-10 16:11

    Government should have learn this last year. Now that some1 died, they want to do something. It's pathetic.

  • arlene.levitan - 2012-01-10 16:13

    I have one word for you Blade et al. Internet. Allow people to apply online and then make appointments to appear in person. No online application record, no chance of admission. Make it work as a mobi site.

      melissalarajones - 2012-01-10 17:43

      Agreed! I'm studying at Unisa, and I completed my entire registration process online, took me all of about 10 minutes, including paying. My study material got delivered within a week, and I can submit all of my assignments online. NO PAIN! No queues! Ok, this is my second year, but I don't recall last year's process taking forever either.....

      roger.pacey - 2012-01-10 21:28

      In my day, the UK had a central clearing house for university applications (UCCA). Schools made sure that students had the documentation well in advance and encouraged early application. You chose your subject and listed five universities in order of preference. If you made the grade, the university invited you for an interview; you didn't set foot on campus before then. In SA today, people without internet access could post (or rather courier) their application and stand an equal chance to those who had access. The only problem with such a system is the high volume of applicants for relatively few places. Given endemic corruption in the civil service, it would be impossible to allocate places fairly; dim kids of the affluent or politically-connected would get preference over the academically deserving, which would be worse than the present system.

      saultenzer - 2012-01-10 22:55

      are you serious? did you people not read the articles - the applicants are sons and daughters of wandering street recyclers etc. they can hardly afford registration of R250. As a former UJ graduate, I think some blame has to be placed on the university for not expecting the jump and not putting adequate controls in place. The bulk of the blame should be our sector policing - WHERE WERE YOU AND WHAT WERE YOU DOING? Sheer thrust is no excuse for the loss of a life, and to be frank: get your act together before any more innocent lives are wasted. A word of caution should resonate within the current grade 12's and point out at the beginning of their new year, that they need to work hard and APPLY EARLY or NOT AT ALL!

  • Marshie - 2012-01-10 16:14

    I think the deceased's child should get priority, get admitted, neh?

      Douglas - 2012-01-10 16:21

      That is the South African way!

  • Oamis - 2012-01-10 16:15

    Mr fancy car was too busy feeding at the trough to foresee the consequences of offering the masses free tertiary education to all ......

      Willie - 2012-01-10 16:54

      Say it loud,Lazy minister komunisi

  • Justin - 2012-01-10 16:45

    Is he so wrong?? Why is it always the goverments fault to deal with the average idiot, are we all children. A sad cold hard fact is that most will not be granted entrance, anyway, to the courses they want to. I have seen this for myself where a matriculaant unexpectedly gets a university entrance and thinks that he/she can go and do any course they feel like (eg : medicine or engineering). It is quite shocking the complete lack of understanding of how you get selected (a university entrance is the minimum !!) Increasing university capacity is not the simple answer to this issue in SA (as this takes years to build - remember you have to have to increase the number lecturers, markers of exams etc - they don't just fall out of thin air). There needs to be better promotion of Technical colleges and apprenticeships like Germany - there are simply too many uni grads who never find work because they just enrolled for "something". These students,most of whom are 18 or older should start acting like adults and get themselves organised earlier. Yes the guidance counsellors and parents are also at fault. Learn to apply for courses by the deadlines stipulated (circa the middle of the year preceding). Rules and guidelines are there for a reason - but in SA we are notorius for bad discipline and ignoring rules aren't we?

  • Willie - 2012-01-10 16:50

    "....applications for the current academic year was 85 000, much higher than the 67 000 of last year...." you have seen the trend what did you do about it Mr vice chancellor you waited for this mishap to come and tell us your puke

  • Beetroot - 2012-01-10 17:06

    Its sad to say but this mindset is going to keep the possible progress from happening. There are plenty of students who have the mindset of the ANC politicians. If you are one of them you are clever and entitled to the perks. Like attending a health spa were you will get a tan on a sunbed. University is the same. If you just go there you will get a degree. You dont need to do anything else. But if you dont get in then you lose out, so make sure you stampede to be there!

  • Robi - 2012-01-10 21:09

    The politicians are screwing us.Why always reactive than proactive. It seems as people have to die first before constructive planning come into place. This is irrational and Blade Nzimande must be fired. What he knows best is to plan about the infighting within ANC than to serve the public at large

  • Robi - 2012-01-10 21:17

    The politicians are screwing us.Why always reactive than proactive. It seems as people have to die first before constructive planning come into place. This is irrational and Blade Nzimande must be fired. What he knows best is to plan about the infighting within ANC than to serve the public at large

  • IrvinIco - 2012-01-11 06:09

    yes stop late applications and come with a system that will accomodate all university hopefulls without all the jostling and tragic ends

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