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Varsity applications season open

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Despite disruptions suffered in the education sector as a result of Covid-19, public universities are preparing to accept a new cohort of school leavers into the system in 2021.

The closing date for applications at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley is September 30. File image

DESPITE disruptions suffered in the education sector as a result of Covid-19, public universities are preparing to accept a new cohort of school leavers into the system in 2021.

The applications season is open at all public universities, with the exception of the University of South Africa, which will start accepting new applications for first-time entrants on September 1, 2020.

Most other universities started receiving applications at varying stages of the year.

The closing date for applications at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley is September 30.

While applications are now closed at most institutions that offer programmes in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho University of Health Sciences and Walter Sisulu University are exceptions, continuing to accept applications to their Health Sciences programmes until 7 and 30 September, 2020 respectively.

At a large majority of institutions, applications for 2021 remain open beyond August.

Thirteen universities are prepared to receive applications until September 30; four have allowed aspiring students to apply until October 31; while six will still be accepting new applications until November 30. The University of Zululand is the only exception, keeping applications open until January 29, 2021.

Students aspiring to enter university for undergraduate studies in 2021 are notified that at some institutions, such as Stellenbosch University, applications closed in July already.

At the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), applications closed on June 30 for some programmes (those in the Faculty of Health Sciences; Bachelor of Architecture; Bachelor of Audiology; Bachelor of Speech-Language Pathology; Film and TV). For all other programmes at Wits, applications remain open until September 30.

At the University of Pretoria, applicants are advised to visit the university’s website to see which programmes still have spaces. As soon as programmes fill up, they close the doors.

As public universities continue to strive to complete the 2020 academic year, they remain steadfast in their resolve to accommodate all students whose academic progress was delayed or hampered by infrastructure deficiencies in their home localities.

Professor Ahmed Bawa, chief executive officer at Universities South Africa, assured the nation that institutions are either allowing the vulnerable students to catch up in one way or another, or they are extending the 2020 academic year to 2021 to ensure that no student is left behind.