Management of the 26 member universities has been meeting regularly to avoid possible disruptions to the 2018 academic year. The most recent meeting was held on Monday.
The universities were strongly opposed to the idea of walk-in applications mainly to avert chaos and possible stampedes. In the meeting, however, universities decided to embrace the walk-ins as a reality of the time and adopted a more flexible approach to ensure the registration process continues smoothly.
It is projected that about 208,000 first-year students, will in the next three to four weeks, enter the system for the first time.
In a statement on Wednesday, Universities South Africa (USAf), the association representing the universities said it received feedback from a number of its member universities that had started to register students.
“In light of the broadly positive feedback received about the orderly manner in which registrations were progressing, it was decided that a more flexible approach would be adopted to address the question of walk-ins so as to ensure a successful registration period,” it said.
It was also decided that institutions that do not have vacant academic seats available would, within the context of the available resources and facilities, provide support facility to walk-in students so they can use and access the Central Application Clearing House (CACH). CACH is the Department of Higher Education and Training’s dedicated system that provides students with access to vacant academics seats across the university and TVET colleges.
According to USAF, it was also decided that universities with available vacancies could process walk-in applications “where there is a match between the candidates’ chosen field of study and the vacant seats”. Universities may also make available “their institutional online application systems” to enable students to register.
Each institution made a commitment to, where possible, inform students on the academic programmes that would still accept new students. Each university will also make its position known to the prospective students and to the public at large through various forms of communication.