Applications outnumber spaces at universities

The University of Johannesburg has limited space. Photo: File.


The joy and excitement of passing matric and becoming eligible for tertiary studies could be short-lived for some as the number of qualifying matriculants heavily outweighs the number of available first-year places at universities.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) received more than 135 000 applications for this year’s first-year graduate studies. Herman Esterhuizen, spokesperson for UJ, said they could only admit a limited number of applicants. “The planned intake of undergraduate first-year students for 2017 is 10 500.”

He also said the application, acceptance and registration process will be handled entirely online. “This includes late applications. UJ does not, under any circumstances, accept on-campus late applications [walk-ins].”‘

Esterhuizen highlighted that all undergraduate applicants who have been accepted for a programme of study at UJ will receive official confirmation of their final admission status via email. If applicants have not received an email, they should visit the UJ website ( to verify their final application status, or call the UJ call centre on 011 559 4555 for more information.

The procedures to be followed once accepted for a programme of study at UJ are clearly set out on the website. This includes registering and paying the required first minimum payment. The university does not, under any circumstances, accept cash payments. Payments must be made either online or via electronic funds transfer.

Inquiries related to late applications for programmes which may have additional capacity for enrolment can be submitted online via the Late Enquiry Link (MobiSite) on the UJ website from 9 January.

Registrations commenced from 9 January and will remain open until 1 February.

The University of Witwatersrand (Wits) received more than 70 000 applications and could only accept 6 200 first-year applicants. Buhle Zuma of Wits mentioned that, for convenience, their university permitted both online and face-to-face (walk-in) registrations. Registration started on 9 January. The dates differ from faculty to faculty and are available on the Wits website.

The official day for welcoming new university-goers and parents is 29 January. Zuma said orientation week would be held from 30 January to 3 February and served to introduce newcomers to university life. “Orientation week empowers new students with important academic and psycho-social information and skills required to succeed at University.

“It is during this period that they are introduced to support programmes such as the first-year experience and other support services designed to ease the transition from high school to university.”

She also added that many faculties have intensive academic programmes during orientation week which assist in preparing university-goers for classes and identifying newcomers who might require monitoring and support in order to ensure academic support.

Lectures at Wits will begin on 6 February.

Belinda Pheto

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