News / Africa

South African Students Struggle for University Admission

South African musician, Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse (R), 60, talks with a classmate as he attends class in a school in Soweto, April 25, 2012.South African musician, Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse (R), 60, talks with a classmate as he attends class in a school in Soweto, April 25, 2012.
x
South African musician, Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse (R), 60, talks with a classmate as he attends class in a school in Soweto, April 25, 2012.
South African musician, Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse (R), 60, talks with a classmate as he attends class in a school in Soweto, April 25, 2012.
Solenn Honorine
— In South Africa, the generation of students born after 1994, when Nelson Mandela became the country's first democratically elected black president, has been celebrated for its success in the end of high school exam, called the “matric.”  This year's pass rate was nearly 74 percent, 13 points higher than three years ago.  But now some students struggle to find a spot in a university.  Last year, one mother died in a stampede at the University of Johannesburg when a throng of students scrambled to enroll.  This year, universities have been more careful.

To avoid another tragedy, the University of Johannesburg resorted to a very strict “no walk-ins” policy.  Nicholas Manyini, a security guard, says he has been turning away a regular trickle of hopeful applicants. “The stampede from last year was hectic and had an effect on the institution.  This alternative yielded good results.  Of course people get frustrated because they call in large number and it can only assimilate the number that can be picked up,” he explained.

Fresh graduate Alilea is waiting outside the campus doors.  She says she is scrambling to find a spot somewhere to continue her studies. “I thought I wasn't going to be able to qualify and all that, but I did actually," she said. "I know I applied late and all that, but then... they have to have space for us!  I need to go to school!  I need to study!”

Having more students pass the matric doesn't necessarily mean that more will get a chance at further study.  Nor does it mean that the general level of students is improving.  Experts quoted in the local press say the standards required to pass the matric keep on being lowered.

At University of the Witswaterstrand, one of the most selective of the country, every college is full, except for a few spots in the education program.  Carol Crosley, who is in charge of admissions, says her school cannot accept more students.

“Because we've got a static number of spaces available, it becomes that much more competitive.  So, in the past, when students may say they managed to get into, let's say, engineering with 60 percent for most of their courses, we are finding now that the average student requires 70 percent to get in engineering,” Crosley stated.

South Africa's minister for higher education has called for pupils to try their luck in vocational colleges that may lack the prestige of universities, but provide training for qualified workers that the country sorely lacks.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bob from: Conyers,Georgia
January 14, 2013 4:34 PM
The more people you educate you create more jobs.It builds a strong economic base.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid