EFF Student Command call to swarm to universities snubbed?

08 January 2018 - 16:40
By Sipho Mabena
Hundreds of people are queuing in the blazing sun outside the University of Johannesburg to enquire if they have been accepted to study or if they can change their courses.
Image: ALON SKUY Hundreds of people are queuing in the blazing sun outside the University of Johannesburg to enquire if they have been accepted to study or if they can change their courses.

Universities breathed a sigh of relief on Monday as prospective students seemed to snub the EFF Student Command’s call for them to walk into campuses in their numbers to register.

However‚ the University of Venda in Limpopo‚ which reportedly reached an agreement with the EFFSC to allow walk-ins‚ did receive a sizeable number of hopeful students looking for space in its main campus in Thohoyandou.

Spokesperson Takalani Dzaga said they were however surprised by reports of an agreement as they were not aware of such an arrangement.

“I am not aware of the agreement but we are not going to entertain any walk-ins. We have however always received the same number of students hoping to walk in to register despite the calls to students to use our online facility‚” he said.

Dzaga said the majority of students who insist on walk-ins were those who did not know how to use the on-line registration facility‚ saying these were referred to their various online registration centres where they were assisted.

He said the university received 24‚000 applications before the cut-off date in September last year but only had space for 3‚100 students.

University of Pretoria spokesperson Rikus Delport said they had their usual security measures in place in case of any eventuality.

“We have made necessary arrangements and so far so good‚” he said.

Delport said the application process ended in September last year and that the process of notifying potential students of their status had started.

He said registration for students that have been accepted will open on Wednesday 10 January until 29 January 2018.

Delport said the University of Pretoria received about 38‚000 applications for 2018 but could only accommodate 9‚500 students.

Tshwane University of Technology spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said they did have potential students trying to do walk-in registrations at their campuses in Pretoria but said these were referred to their on-line application facility without any incident.

She said they had contingency plans in place as well as marshals at the gate assisting students.

“Lots of students came forward for other reasons such as settling their debt. Other than that it was very quiet. We are also engaging with student formations on campuses and hopefully we will not have any issues‚” she said.

North West University said despite calls following the announcement of free education for the poor and working class for such students to show up at universities and demand to be registered‚ its official stance remains that no walk-ins will be allowed for the 2018 registration.

Spokesperson Louis Jacobs said only prospective students who applied to the university‚ met the admission requirements and have been accepted‚ will be allowed to register in 2018.

“The North-West University has put in place contingency plans to deal with various situations. Any situation which could arise from confusion in this regard will be monitored and‚ if needed‚ the necessary contingency plans will be activated to ensure the safety of our staff‚ students and property‚” he said.

Jacobs said they were relieved there were no incidents on Monday.

He said the NWU received 40‚000 applications but said the university only had space for just more than 9‚200 first year students‚ and applications for prospective students had already closed on 30 September 2017.