Johannesburg - The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) will not accept more first-year students because it intends becoming more research intensive, it said in a statement on Thursday.
“In line with its strategic objectives, and the country's requirements for high-level skills, Wits University is moving towards being a more research intensive institution, with a higher proportion of postgraduate students,” spokeswoman Kanina Foss said in a statement.
With the department of higher education's agreement, the university had not increased the number of places available for first-time first-year students from last year, which stood at 5 500.
Wits had about 21 000 undergraduate students and about 10 000 postgraduate students. The increased demand for university education and an improved matric pass rate meant there was increased competition for places.
“An unfortunate consequence is that many applications have been unsuccessful,” Foss said.
Preference was given to those with higher matric marks, and successful applicants had to confirm their acceptance within stipulated deadlines.
“Wits understands the concern of unsuccessful applicants and their families, and urges them to consider alternatives, such as further education and training colleges and private institutions.
“Applicants with lower-level aggregates might also consider rewriting subjects such as mathematics, science and English through centres recommended by the department of basic education.”