Students admissions and registration (2018)

11 January 2018 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

Student registration at the University of Cape Town begins on 5 February 2018. The announcement that government will phase in “fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans” over a five year period is a major advance in improving access to higher education for all South Africans. Understandably, there have been debates and questions about the details of the funding plan. The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has provided a useful guide to answer frequently asked questions on this matter. This document is available on the UCT website.

UCT will continue to work with DHET and Universities South Africa (USAf) to consider the details of a fee-free policy for the higher education sector. UCT has a well-established record over many years of accepting academically deserving students, including those who are not able to meet the fee requirements. We have done so through funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which has been supplemented substantially by UCT funding. All of this has happened within established enrolment planning parameters as agreed with DHET.

With regard to the issue of ‘walk-in’ student admissions and registration, and with specific reference to prospective students who have either not applied to any university in South Africa, or who have applied to specific universities but have not received an offer of a study place for a programme of choice, in such cases students are advised to submit their details online to the DHET’s Central Applications Clearing House (CACH). The CACH system exists specifically to address the placement of students who did not apply to any university, but who now qualify and wish to be considered for an academic space.

Applications to UCT far exceed the number of students that the institution can accommodate. For admission in 2018, UCT has received a total of 68 335 applications from over 35 000 undergraduate applicants. The number of study places available is approximately 4 200, which in global terms translates into 16 applications for each study place available. We strongly urge students who have not been offered a study place at UCT to register with the CACH. It is not possible at this stage to accommodate applicants who have not already received an offer of a study place, including those who may seek admission on a walk-in basis. We will continue to engage with student leaders and offer advice as necessary to those who still seek admission.

It is critical that the 2018 teaching programme commences according to the set timetable. We look forward to the start of the 2018 academic year and we thank all concerned for their understanding.


Royston Pillay

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