Students flood UKZN

2018-01-09 13:45
Students stood in the scorching sun outside the main admission building at UKZN on Monday.

Students stood in the scorching sun outside the main admission building at UKZN on Monday. (Nokuthula Khanyile)

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WATCH: Late applicants queue outside UJ despite 'no walk-in' policy

2018-01-09 09:12

Dozens of prospective students queued outside the University of Johannesburg on Monday morning, hoping to secure a place in 2018 despite UJ announcing that it would not accept 'walk-ins'. Watch. WATCH

As hundreds of desperate students stood in snaking queues for hours in a bid to gain admission to tertiary institutions in the city on Monday, there are fears that their hopes of studying here could be dashed.

A queue with hundreds of hopeful students formed around the main admission building at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s campus in Scottsville.

But, UKZN spokesperson Sejal Desai said they had received 91 002 applications for the 8 776 spaces available in the first-year undergraduate academic programmes.

Desai said: “The majority of the courses are now fully subscribed and closed for further applications.”

The Durban University of Technology said it had received 92 464 applications for first-year-study in 2018.

The situation at the DUT is similar to UKZN with spokesperson for DUT Noxolo Memela saying they only have 7 500 spaces for its 2018 first-year-intake.

This, after Universities South Africa said last week that institutions around the country will not allow walk-in registrations for the 2018 academic year.

This followed President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of free tertiary education to poor students and the working class from this year, and EFF leader Julius Malema calling for matriculants who passed in previous years and couldn’t afford university fees to report to academic institutions.

News24 reported that Malema wants all academically deserving students to be admitted freely in SA universities and FET colleges.

The prospective students in the city on Monday said they were hoping to get into UKZN as they had failed to get placement at other universities in the country.

Some said they were at the campus to change their course choices after receiving their matric results on Friday.

Nduduzo Dubazane and Zothani Mhlangu stood in the queue from 6 am until after 2 pm. The two, from Impendle, want to do a Bachelor of Education degree.

“If we cannot go in today, we will come back very early tomorrow. If the university is full then we will have to try another one,” said Mhlangu.

Dubazane said he had applied at the University of Zululand (UniZulu) for the same course but he now felt it was too far away.

Nirika Manilall from Howick who also stood in the long queue said she wanted to change her course choice.

Desai said as a standard procedure, the university has a process in place to fill spaces that may be available in under-subscribed courses.

She said the most popular courses applied for by prospective students include Bachelor of Education, Social Work, Science, and Nursing.

At the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Riverside campus, hundreds of prospective students and parents were left frustrated after they were turned away.

Prospective students who were turned away at the Durban University of Technology, Riverside campus on Monday.

A member of the Students Representative Committee Ozayo Ntshulana told students the admission staffers were not properly trained to use the online registration system.

Ntshulana said the university has done away with the manual application process and implemented a new online system.

He said this exacerbated the long queues as the computer system was constantly offline.

“The system is broken and no one from the admission staff members is able to assist the students. None of them were properly trained on how to use the new system”, alleged Ntshulana.

Yesterday, the DUT SRC was expected to meet with the university’s management to get proper information on how the new system will be used.

Refiloe Mokoena from Ezinketheni who was one of the students turned away at DUT said she was told to “wait for their call”.

“It’s very frustrating because you’re not even sure if they will contact you. They didn’t say when they will call us back.

“They only took in the first 30 people and thereafter told us the system was offline.”

Mokoena said she was at DUT to check if they had accepted her application.

“I applied through the Central Applications Office last year and did not receive a response,” said Mokoena.

Memela denied that there were challenges with the online system.

“We have not received any official report relating to that, however, should we receive such, we would be in a position to advise accordingly. All our staff were trained,” she said.

Meanwhile, despite the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) announcement last week that it would not be accepting walk-in applications, dozens of prospective students queued outside the university yesterday morning, hopeful of securing a place this year.

Kabelo Matsuba (22) who had to find a job last year after he didn’t get into the programme he wanted to study, arrived early Monday morning hoping to register for a degree in human resources.

“All I want to do is study. Even where I work now, I am not proud. I am just doing it to keep my mind busy,” he said.

“It’s frustrating, but all I want to do is see myself study.

“I can’t keep waiting and coming back next year, and next year, and next year. I’ll be 30 with no degree,” Matsuba said.

Last week, UJ joined a number of universities in the country, including the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand, in announcing that it wouldn’t be accepting walk-in applications, and that prospective students should access the online portal and phone the call centre for assistance.

But heavy traffic for late applications and registration meant the system was down yesterday morning.

UJ registrar Professor Kinta Burger said university management was aware that the system was down, but advised students to try again at a later stage when the traffic subsided.

She said besides the online portal, the university had 100 operators in its call centre to assist students with applications and registration.

UJ has also made wifi facilities available for students who can’t access the Internet to apply or register.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  university

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