Late last month minister of higher education and training, Naledi Pandor announced a new amendment for the entry requirements of bachelor’s degrees which will take effect during the 2019 academic year.

The new amendment states that a minimum admission requirement of 30 percent or more in language and between 50 percent or more on four of the designated subjects list also known as (20-credit subjects) of the National Senior Certificate (NSC).

Previously the minimum entry requirement for a bachelors pass was 40 percent and above on language, 50 percent or more on three higher credit subjects and 30 percent or more on one lower credit subject.

“The basic education department was requested by the Universities South Africa (USAf) to consider amending the minimum admission requirements for higher education certificates, diplomas and degrees as there were a number of subjects which were excluded from the designated list, but which were important for some learning and career pathways,”  higher education and training spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele told IOL.

Even though this amendment will come into effect in 2019, each institution is still entitled to specify subject requirements for a particular programme.

Universities in the Western Cape expressed their views on the changes, with some welcoming the new change and others conveying that the new amendment did not challenge students to do their best in high school.

“Passing any Grade 12 subject at 30 percent is a poor indicator of the probability of a student passing a quality bachelor’s degree, the latest gazetted announcement still does not challenge high school learners to adequately prepare for bachelors studies,” said Stellenbosch University spokesperson Martin Viljoen.

“Acceptance into university remains a competitive process and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) always endeavours to provide a space to the most well-deserving and academically achieving individuals,” added CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley.

“The university notes the amendment in the admission criteria for degree admission, specifically the removal of the designated list, and welcomes the fact that more applicants will now be eligible for degree admission,” noted University of Cape Town (UCT) spokesperson Elijah Moholola.

Last year the total number of bachelors pass was 28.7 percent, but it should be interesting to see how this percentage changes now that  the criteria has been lowered. Also important is how many students will now be able to get into their universities as limited space still remains a significant issue for tertiary institutions.

[Source – IOL]

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]