Long queues at UJ despite pleas to use online systems
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.
The long lines persist even while the university is handing out flyers stating it is not accepting walk-in students and that other queries can be addressed online.
The university has set up a link on its website‚ that can be accessed by mobile phone‚ for late applications.
Many of those in the queue are on the waiting list for spaces to study.
Student Amishka Hiralal was queuing to ask if she could switch courses from a B. Com to nuclear medicine.
Karabo Sebela is on the waiting list to study law. She was at the University of Johannesburg to see if she has been accepted yet. Sebela applied to study law in 2017‚ "but there was no space so I applied again to study this year". The flyers UJ staff are handing out explain that students must wait to receive an email or sms confirming if a place has become available or not.
Marcia Godlo wants to study teaching but hasn't applied to do so. She raised enough money to travel from the Western Cape to apply in person at UJ. She says she couldn't afford to apply to university before September 30 when applications closed. "I don't want to live in the Western Cape. It is easier for a black woman here (in Gauteng).
"I don't have money to go back. I am crashing at a friend's place."
As a former community worker‚ she is hoping she gets a place to study either teaching or social work. "I prayed about it and God said I should do teaching."
She said she was trusting God that she would be accepted but knew nothing of the online process.
EFF students are not visible at UJ despite the party promising it would force universities to accept more students.
Potential students are queuing calmly and being let into the campus slowly to prevent a stampede. The queues have moved slowly because the computer system crashed on Monday morning.
Universities South Africa has pleaded with potential students to apply on cach.dhet.gov.za for a possible space‚ noting applications closed last year.
It warned of violence if people queued. following a stampede at UJ campus in 2012 that led to one fatality. However‚ the EFF has continued to call for students to apply at campuses in person‚ following President Jacob Zuma's promise of free education for the working class.
The Minister of Higher Education‚ Hlengiwe Mkhize‚ is meeting with university vice-chancellors on Monday to discuss free education and concerns about walk-in students.
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