PERHAPS it was the lead up to the ICC's Cricket World Cup that increased the general buzz on Campus during orientation and registration this year. Nonetheless, figures indicate that UCT looks set for yet another record-breaking first-year student enrolment, with an 11% increase in applications, compared with 2002.
UCT set an enrolment target of 3 403 new students for undergraduate degree study this year. At the time of going to press, 5 687 study place offers had been made (against 4 944 in 2002).
During the run-up to the start of the academic year, the admissions and faculty offices were hives of activity as students registered and joined the various faculty orientation programmes. Director of Admissions, Royston Pillay, said that the increased number of applications for undergraduate degree study indicated a greater interest in study opportunities and demand for places.
â€œCoupled with a better-than-expected matric success rate for 2002, this has seen a general rise in the number of matriculants applying to enter universities and technikons in the Western Cape,â€ he added.
At the time of going to press, the University had received more than 11 100 applications for first-year places. Pillay said he believed that the quality of the first-year intake would be high, judging by the very good high school results in 2002. â€œWe continue to rely on matric exam symbols at the higher end of the spectrum as adequate indicators of university readiness and as a basis for admission.â€
He said commerce had continued to attract a large slice of the applicant number, with 28.9% of prospective students opting for the faculty's sought-after study courses.
There was also significant interest in the humanities, (23% of applicants), closely followed by engineering and the built environment (16.4%). Health sciences and science each accounted for 14% of applicants while the intentionally smaller undergraduate law programme attracted the remaining 3.5% of first-year study applicants.