Universities face challenges to accommodate celebrated matrics

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South African universities grapple with the task of accommodating the growing number of successful matriculants, especially those who have achieved bachelor’s admission since 1994.

A significant number of matriculants are seeking admission to higher tertiary institutions. But, according to most universities, the demand for admission surpasses the available capacity of the system.

Meanwhile, most parents are considering enrolling their children in private tertiary institutions but are concerned about affordability. As they are afraid, this will leave them with a lot of debts that accrue interest for the duration of the study.

Professor of Practice at the University of Johannesburg Mary Metcalfe says, “There have been significant changes in the functioning of NSFAS, and it is intended to target the poorest of the poor. So there has always been the complicated issue of the missing middle, who have the pressure to take loans.”

A three-year degree for a Bachelor of Accounting at a distance learning institution like Regenesys will cost you R110 000 a year, while at Wits University, almost a similar degree costs up to R74 000 annually.

Academic director at MANCOSA, Paresh Soni says, “When it comes to higher education, you would know that the government funds the public institutions only, but we realised the need to cater for the missing middle, and we have bursary schemes.”

Despite the excellent results many matriculation learners obtain, some learners won’t be able to get placement in most universities. Moreover, some will not be able to register at universities due to a lack of funds.