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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora