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Passed Matric, But No Space At University? You Have Options!

A Bachelor's Degree (BD) Matric pass does not guarantee you entry to a university – because the university might simply not have space for one more student.

28/12/2017 11:08 SAST | Updated 28/12/2017 11:08 SAST
Neil Hall/ Reuters

Learners from the Matric 2017 class who are going to university have already applied and been provisionally accepted.

Now they are waiting for their final Matric results -- and then they will hear from the universities whether they have been admitted. Once you have your letter of admission, you know your place is assured.

Lots of Applicants... Limited Places

Last year, only one out of every eight applicants was accepted as a student. This is because we have eight times more applicants who want to study than we have places at our universities.

For example, the University of Johannesburg had more than 135,500 applicants, but they have space for only 10,500 first-year students.

So your Bachelor's Degree (BD) Matric pass does not guarantee you entry to a university -- because the university might simply not have space for one more student.

Having a Place Does not Guarantee You a Degree

More than half of first-year students will drop out -- during their first year. Three years from now, only about 5 percent of the kids who started school 12 years ago will have degrees.

Options If You Don't Get into a University

Not getting into a university does not, however, mean you have no shot at a tertiary education. There are more options open to you that will allow you to qualify in your chosen vocational field. Here are a few:

Option 1: Study a Degree at a Private Institution

We have many private institutions that offer degrees and other higher education qualifications. Here are some favourites:

Boston City Campus

Belgium Campus

Akademia

Centurion Academy

You can find the complete official lists of accredited Private Higher Education Institutions here.

Our government have been focusing on building our TVET Colleges. They are a good alternative, where you can start without first needing a Matric.

Option 2: Professional Qualifications

Professional qualifications often let you start your studies without a Matric, and then take you to an academic level two or three levels higher than Matric. This is usually career-specific training. As such, these students are often attractive to the business world -- because they can start working with a minimum of further training, and contribute in the workplace while undergoing career skills development.

South Africa has many different professional institutes. Here are a few:

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)

Institute of Information Technology Professionals (IITPSA)

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants (ICBA)

South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)

Here are some more institutes listed.

Option 3: TVET Colleges (Public)

Our government have been focusing on building our Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges. They are a good alternative, because you can start technical and vocational training –– essentially, apprenticeships as skilled artisans like plumbers, builders and electricians, or as skilled workers in a number of service industries from hotel management or graphic design to engineering or architecture –– without first needing a Matric.

Here is a list of public colleges.

Option 4: Private Colleges

South Africa has world-class private colleges, at which the accreditation and registration criteria are stringent. These colleges offer TVET or Further Education and Training (FET) qualifications, as well as short courses. However, these colleges must be accredited by a Skilled Education and Training Authority (SETA). Some are already registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

You can find a list of all the SETAs here.

You can find the complete official lists of accredited private higher education and accredited private colleges here.

You have many different options -- don't give up!

Note that SETA-accredited colleges will not be on these lists yet. These colleges have until late in 2018 to apply for registration with the DHET. Previously, SETA-accredited colleges were not required to register with the DHET.

Option 5: Private Distance Learning Colleges

If you want to study from home, whether you can rely on parental support but didn't get accepted by a university, or because you have to support yourself in a job and study at times that suit your schedule, then distance learning is your option.

In South Africa, we have many distance learning institutions to choose from. The same rules for accreditation and registration apply to them. So you can look them up on the websites of the DHET, or on the website of the SETA at which they are accredited.

You have many different options -- don't give up!

As you can see, there are many different options. Don't give up just because you are not accepted at the first place you apply to. Try, and try again.