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Thousands expected to flock to Cape universities in a bid to secure late spots

During the First-Year Campus Reception programme on upper campus, UCT first-years receive their student cards and People Soft training. Picture: UCT

During the First-Year Campus Reception programme on upper campus, UCT first-years receive their student cards and People Soft training. Picture: UCT

Published Jan 24, 2022


Cape Town - Thousands of prospective and hopeful students are expected to flock to tertiary institutions this week to try to secure a spot for the academic year.

Most will be first-time university students, accompanied by parents, guardians and siblings, to receive confirmation on whether they had been accepted to study at the institution, while others would be busy with registrations.

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Congress of South African Students (Cosas) provincial secretary Mphumzi Giwu encouraged all those who passed to visit tertiary institutions to explore all the opportunities they could find.

“For those who did not make it, it is not the end of the world, there are still many opportunities to further their studies,” he said.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) spokesperson Lauren Kansley said CPUT received about 100 000 applications for study each year. Of that the university could accommodate only about 9 000 first-year placements.

“We are certainly excited to meet our new cohort of first years. Once in the fold they will have access to a variety of interventions, like the first-year welcome experience which practically equips them for the rigours of university study,” she said.

UCT spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala said applications closed on August 31 for all undergraduate programmes.

She said whether there were places still available could not be determined at this stage.

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“Once the registration window is completed, we will know how many offers we’re taking up and whether or not we have under-enrolment in any programme, or in the institution as a whole.

“Registration and orientation is scheduled to commence on February 1 and will continue until February 11,” Shabalala said.

She said the university received 98 000 applications from about 50 000 first-time entering undergraduate applicants. UCT has the capacity to accommodate about 4 000 first-time entering students.

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UWC spokesperson Gasant Abarder said the university received 115 000 applications for first-year entry this year. He said the university had well-established plans to accommodate the arrival of first-year students.

“We have an interim Covid-19 vaccination policy so only students who are vaccinated are allowed on to campus.”

He said the policy would allow for unvaccinated students to register online and continue their studies on the flexible online teaching and learning programme. However, there were some programmes, such as dentistry, for which physical attendance was a requirement.

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Stellenbosch University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said they have received approximately 55 000 first-year applications and made approximately 12 000 conditional offers.

“As was the case in the last few years, SU can enrol approximately 5 500 first-year undergraduate students,” said Viljoen.

He said offers have already been made to fill all places available. If places are still open, faculties will resort to their waiting lists to fill those places.

“Walk-ins (applicants who did not apply) will unfortunately not be considered,” he said.

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Cape Argus