Cape Town – The University of the Witwatersrand has rejected claims that students were deregistering due to issues linked to online learning.
The university said that after looking at data, it found that less than 1% of the student population had deregistered since the start of the academic year.
“These stats are much lower than at the same time in 2019. The majority of the deregistrations in 2020 took place before mid-March. Between March 23 and May 18 last year, Wits received 208 requests for deregistrations compared to 118 in 2020 for the same period.”
The university said there were a variety of reasons why students chose to deregister. “The university is of the view that an overwhelming majority of the students are adjusting to the current reality and are committed to their studies.
"Students who are not coping are requested to reach out to their lecturers and the university’s student support structures.”
Stellenbosch University (SU) spokesperson Martin Viljoen said online learning was going well and deregistration trends were similar to previous years. This year, 192 students deregistered, compared to 254 last year.
“There were initial challenges with mass access to the university’s teaching and learning platform, SUNLearn, but problems were dealt with and as many as 21000 users access the platform daily.”
He said students get free access to SUNLearn to write assessments, upload assignments or download content.
“To further enable students to keep up to date with academic work, SU has purchased mobile phone bundles that are made available to students free of charge in May and June.”
UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said they were not able to provide registration data as yet.
“The University of Cape Town is in the fifth week of online learning, which got under way on April 28. The university has not had any online learning-related issues reported in at least the last two weeks.
"UCT only had issues relating to access in the first two weeks prior to the completion of the delivery of laptops. All laptops have now been delivered.”