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DUT denies biting off more than it can chew when it comes to new placements

The university says it did not take on more students than it can place.
The university says it did not take on more students than it can place.
Image: 123rf.com

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) has refuted claims that it made more placement offers for new students than it had space for.

This comes after a protest at the university’s Steve Biko campus on Wednesday disrupted physical registration.

Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) chair Sanele Ndwandwe, who is also a member of the Students Representative Council, told TimesLIVE that the disruption was due to the institution releasing more placement offers than it had space for and then withdrawing them when applicants wanted to register.

However, the DUT has rubbished the claims.

Alan Khan, DUT senior director of corporate affairs, told TimesLIVE that the number of “firm offers” they had made had been guided by the number of spaces they had available.

He said applicants who had met the minimum entry requirements had been placed on a waiting list as a backup in case those with firm offers decided not to register.

Clarifying the issue of withdrawn placement offers, Khan said: “Following the recent release of the final grade 12 results, some conditional offers were withdrawn as some applicants did not meet the minimum university entry requirements. The firm offers for those applicants who did not accept the offer within the stipulated time were also withdrawn.

“The applicants who accepted the offer have registered and those who did not accept the offer on time have been redirected to other programmes if they meet the minimum entry requirements.”

Ndwandwe said the registration process should be halted until the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) releases this year’s funded list so that courses do not reach their quotas before they have got to register.

“NSFAS will only release the funded list from the 6th (February) yet registration at DUT started on January 16. That means that only self-payers are able to register now.By the time the funding list is released most courses will have reached their full quotas. It’s already happening in some courses already,” he said.

Khan said the university had a plan in place to assist those who had received firm offers but hadn’t been registered yet because they were waiting for NSFAS funding.

“There is a plan in place and their names are recorded. However, those students are advised to also contact the student admissions unit in order to get assistance,” he said.

“The NSFAS-funded list is scanned daily for new decisions. Eligible students are awarded bursaries and are notified accordingly.”

He confirmed that physical registration was on hold “as the EFFSC is preventing students from entering the registration venues” and that online registration was going ahead as planned.


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