‘Don’t just walk in to universities in search of placement’

University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and other universities say they won't be accepting late applications for 2018 academic year. Picture: The New Age

Universities South Africa has advised prospective students not to just walk into institutions but to rather go online in search of placement.

The request comes after EFF leader Julius Malema, in his new year message, urged everyone in possession of a matric certificate to go to any university to demand that they are accepted to study there.

In December, President Jacob Zuma announced wholesale changes to the funding of tertiary and Further Education and Training (FET) college students in the 2018 academic year.

He announced that the government would provide free education to more than 90% of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Universities South Africa had previously said it was surprised by Zuma’s announcement.

CEO Ahmed Bawa said a meeting was held with the Higher Education and Training Department and NSFAS to discuss how the funding was going to be implemented.

The organisation said it was agreed that the universities would not be accepting any late applications.

Bawa said students who were previously denied financial aid under the previous dispensation, who now qualify for funding under Zuma’s announcement, can submit their applications online at www.cach.dhet.gov.za.

“We therefore call on students and parents who are anxious to determine if they qualify for the new NSFAS dispensation to follow this route,” Bawa said.

Bawa said Universities South Africa would have preferred for the new funding method to have been phased in over the next year, instead of three weeks.

He said the organisation had been warned about student funding becoming a political tool.

“We have repeatedly raised our concerns about the use of student fees issue as a political football. This is not just disingenuous but also opens the way for the issue to be used for purely political purposes as we have seen.”

Wits University has also come out to reiterate Universities South Africa’s announcement that it won’t be accepting any late applications for the 2018 academic year.

-TNA Reporter