Universities will re-open their doors across the country within the next month or two. Unfortunately for many, there’s not enough space to accommodate all those who have applied.
To put this into perspective, according to EWN, there are only just over 54 000 spaces available for new applicants at the country’s top seven universities. In 2016, according to Sowetan Live, 828 020 candidates wrote the National Senior Certificate exam. EWN notes an additional 109 400 progressed learners wrote IEB papers at private schools.
Stellenbosch University received 17000 first year applications, but there are only 5000 places available which leaves 12000 rejects.
The University of Cape Town received 26000 first year applications, but there are only 4200 places available which leaves 21800 rejects.
Of the 828 020 NSC matriculants, only 162 374 qualified for university, 179 619 for diploma study and 100 486 for certificate study.
Only 26% of NSC matriculants passed with the basic requirement to enter university. Sadly, a basic requirement doesn’t guarantee an enrolment into a tertiary institution, particularly at top quality institutions. And of this 26%, many cannot afford higher education tuition.
To make things worse, these stats exclude the 109 400 progressed learners who wrote IEB papers at private schools in South Africa as well as many other foreign students who apply to study in South Africa.
So is South Africa’s education crisis at a tertiary level or school level? Should South Africa be allocating more funds towards poor and underdeveloped schools? Is it fair that the poor student cannot enrol into a tertiary institution because of a lack of funds and scarce educational resources?
So what alternatives do these students have? Perhaps it’s time for a serious shift towards online learning if South Africa’s institutional infrastructure can’t accommodate the future generations of South Africa.