The new year has started off on a poor note for Unisa. Earlier this month thousands of students took to the streets to strike, with the SRC demanding that qualifying students should be admitted to the institution.

Unisa has since rejected thousands of qualifying applications due to space limitations.This is the first time in the institution’s history that it has rejected qualifying applicants.

“The thing of enrollment limitation may have started a year or two ago. We have what we call the enrollment planning policy framework, which is the policy position of the Department of Higher Education and Training that says that every one of the 26 public universities must be subjected to a limit in terms of the number of students that they can take,” said Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela to IOL News

As one of the agreements to end the strike Unisa said it would take in 25 000 more qualifying applicants, in addition to the 54 434 students admitted for first year studies.

This year the institution has received 540 000 applications, the majority being first years. Unisa was limited to 380 000 students per year, which included those studying for higher certificates, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

“Even if we’re a distance institution, we must still teach, people have contact with their lectures through tutorial, one on ones and chat rooms. People must be assessed, they must still write exams. If you’re going to carry an infinite number you’re not going to service it adequately, it’s very risky,” concluded Ramotshela.

[Source – IOL News]