Central Applications for Further Study Enters First Phase

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Thursday that the first phase of a centralised applications system for entrance to tertiary education is operating.

Nzimande said that prospective students, who had not applied yet, may apply through the system for next year, and, any students who have been rejected may use it to apply for places in other institutions.

Such a centralised system is badly needed as was seen at the beginning of this year when a last minute-rush to apply for the limited spaces at universities led to one person being killed during a stampede at the University of Johannesburg.

While the Department of Education plans to double the available space in universities by 2030, the centralised system will aid them universities and students alike until then. The final phase of the system should be completed by 2014 and will enable students to apply for admission, financial aid and accommodation all from a single location.

A centralised system is already being utilised in Kwa-Zulu Natal, a system which Council for Higher Education CE Ahmed Essop said took about five years to entrench. Essop believes that a national system will take longer, but the benefits it could have would be worth it.

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