University of Limpopo urges parents and prospective students not to stress over registration.
THE University of Limpopo (UL) has urged parents and prospective students not to press panic buttons, saying it would assist them since it still has limited places for walk-in students.
Spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba said this week that UL still has space for courses such as media studies, accounting and agricultural science although programmes such as law; teaching; medicine and health sciences in general were fully subscribed.
This comes as thousands of desperate students camped outside the university’s gates in Mankweng, east of Polokwane, this week in the hope of snatching some of the 4 554 first entering spaces on offer.
The same situation played itself at the University of Venda in Thohoyandou where three prospective students fainted while on a queue which snaked along the institution’s fence in scorching weather conditions.
Mohuba said while many other universities closed their gates for so-called walk-in students, in fear of potential chaos following President Jacob Zuma’s fee free tertiary education announcement, UL opened its doors because it regarded such people as prospective students.
Mohuba said the university had received 36 000 applications for just over 4 000 spaces. To cater for these students, UL has made available 30 computers and 3000 chairs available at the entrance.
“Our parents, our prospective students must not panic. The University of Limpopo is going to assist them as they were assisted in the previous years. We are not going to shut down our doors to anyone else especially when people are coming to make enquiries.”
However, most of the popular programmes are fully subscribed already.
“There is no space for medicine, I can tell you. We had 2000 applications and we are only supposed to take 80. So, that means you will also have to be on a waiting list,” Mohuba said.
“In the health sciences, the majority of the programmes are full. The only programmes where you will find space are in the faculty of sciences and agriculture. We usually battle with the numbers there because those that are supplying us are high schools and you find that they have not done well.”
Space is also available in the school of accounting especially for those wishing to study towards Bachelor of Accounting Science and Bachelor of Accounting, he said.
“There, you battle with the numbers because the admission requirements are very high. Your programmes like law, medicine, health science – those are fully subscribed. But we still have spaces in your media studies, communications and elsewhere in the mainstream sciences.”
However, Mohuba said the institution would monitor the situation because the issuing of “firm offers” to prospective students does not necessarily mean they would register at UL.
Some students often opt for other universities that issued them with similar offers, or they fail to meet the minimum requirements, or get offered bursaries by other institutions, or they realise their preferred fields of study are not offered at UL, or they simply fail matric, he said.
Unlike many other institutions, UL has kept its gates open for walk-in students because “we want to give each and every prospective student an opportunity”.
“We normally do not close the gates because you would have students who had applied and where information was not captured, hence we are creating an opportunity for them to come and make some enquiries, because you don’t want to create a crisis,” said Mohuba, adding that “some of them might have tried to apply online and not succeeded”.
However, the same could not be said about Univen. Spokesperson Takalani Dzaga said the institution does not allow walk-in students because it’s focusing on those who applied by the closing date of September last year.
“We also have very limited space: 3 100 and we received more than 24 000 applications last year. We have been getting enquiries from students who did not apply and we have been encouraging them to apply thorough the Department of Higher Education and Training’s CAPS (Central Application System). But we are planning to conclude our applications for both returning and first year students by next week Friday (January 19),” Dzaga said.
“I doubt we are close to reaching our target in terms of registration. But in terms of admission we have already reached our target.”
He said by Monday this week, 2 558 first year students had already taken their places. The rest (about 600) were expected to be processed by the end of the week.
Dzaga confirmed that three students fainted while stuck on a long queue, and baking in the sun outside the university. Temperatures hit 40 Degrees Celsius in Venda due to the hit waves that affected various parts of the country.
“Two of them fainted due to hunger. They were hungry because I was told that immediately after getting food they were fine. And the third one who fainted had a heart condition,” he said.
Universities across the country are battling with registrations, with the University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology and Walter Sisulu among the hardest hit.
This came after EFF leader Julius Malema called on all past matriculants to descend on universities in the wake of the fee free announcement, a move denounced by Higher Education Minister Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize as reckless.