Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training will invite university students to indicate their concerns experienced during the registration period, says committee chairperson Connie September.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, September said this was part of efforts to ensure there is a smooth and peaceful start to the 2019 academic year.
“They are an important stakeholder and the committee has been working on a joint programme with the students to ensure that the implementation of free education for the poor and working class benefits the students and their communities,” she said.
“The committee wants to see a smooth and peaceful start to 2019, where students will not be bothered by anything other than registering and getting started with the first term.”
The official term for 2019 begins in the first week of February and institutions will be asked whether they are achieving the throughput as envisaged in the National Development Plan.
The chairperson said the focus of all student leaders should be on advancing the higher education sector for the benefit of all, especially poor students.
“Student leaders need to be talking about how they hope to assist universities resolve such challenges as student accommodation and waiting lists, and in this way help institutions realise smooth and successful registration,” said September.
She said the threats of violence over registration are despicable and unwarranted. “Constructive engagements are needed to make sure that issues are attended to and that the majority of students are able to access university places and funding.”
The committee will over the next few weeks monitor the registration process at many universities and colleges.
September said the committee supports the efforts of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme Administrator in ensuring that students do not face the same problems as in the past, such as late and failed applications from qualifying students.
Meanwhile, Grade 12 learners, who passed matric in 2017 but have not yet secured a place at a university or college, have been urged to use the Central Applications Clearing House (CACH) system.
CACH is the Department of Higher Education and Training’s online application portal designed for Grade 12 students who are seeking admission to post-school education and training (PSET).
The service assists prospecting students by sharing their matric results with public and private further and higher education institutions across the country, including Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) colleges, universities, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and registered private higher institutions.
Institutions with open study places, technical training opportunities, or apprenticeship slots then make them available to the most suitable applicants on the CACH database.
The service opened on Friday following the release of the 2017 matric results and will close on 28 February 2018.
All young people with the required matric qualifications that are still seeking opportunities for 2018 can access CACH’s easy-to-use website at cach.dhet.gov.za or call the toll-free number 0800 356 635.