Western Cape universities ready for influx of undergraduates

The University of Cape Town received 92,841 applications for the 2024 academic year. File Picture: UCT

The University of Cape Town received 92,841 applications for the 2024 academic year. File Picture: UCT

Published Jan 29, 2024


As matriculants ready themselves for the journey of tertiary education, universities in the Western Cape are ready to welcome the undergraduates.

Students from around the country will be flocking to study at institutions such as the University of Cape Town (UCT), the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Stellenbosch University (SU), and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Stellenbosch University received 88,085 first-year applications for 2024. However, the university can enrol approximately 5,600 first-year undergraduate students.

The faculties with the highest number of applications are medicine and health sciences with 52,004; arts and social sciences with 36,210, and economic and management sciences with 34,777 applications.

The university received approximately 14,000 applications for residence spaces, however, the university residences can accommodate approximately 2,000 first-year students on campus and 280 at the Tygerberg campus.

“About 75% of students are either commuting or staying in private accommodation. Private accommodation is not administrated by the university, but the accommodation office assists with accredited private accommodation.

“Accommodation at institutions of higher learning remains a national challenge. As with most universities, spaces in residence are limited and the university collaborates with private providers to offer accredited accommodation.

“To meet the increased demand for accommodation, two new residences will be completed by the second term of 2024 – adding 400 beds to the system.

“The university supports students in finding suitable accommodation and will continue to engage with the relevant entities, including the Student Representative Council and NSFAS, to work towards long-term solutions in finding suitable accommodation,” university spokesperson, Anél Lewis said.

The academic year officially begins on February 12.

Gasant Abarder, marketing and media manager for UWC said the university is expecting 4,650 first-year students to its institution.

He said the popular courses this year include law, nursing, dentistry, accounting, pharmacy, and bachelor arts.

“The university has already commenced with registration and is well-prepared for the start of the academic year,” Abarder said.

He said 6,000 students have applied for accommodation and additional beds have been secured with private accommodation providers.

CPUT is expecting about 9,000 first-year students, with engineering and education faculties remaining the popular choice.

Spokesperson for the university, Lauren Kansley said they are ready to welcome new students.

“CPUT is a well-oiled machine with regard to the start of the academic year 2024. We are prepped and ready to welcome the new and existing cohort of students. Students have slowly been trickling in,” Kansley said.

She said CPUT has one of the highest rates of placing students in residences and some 40% of its students get residences.

“We have prioritised student housing and over the past few years, we have exponentially increased our student residence offerings,” Kansley said.

UCT will be welcoming 4,500 first-year students after it received 92,841 applications for the academic year.

The faculty of Health Sciences received the most applications, with 19,029.

“At UCT we believe education is not just about earning a degree. Certainly, a certificate helps to open doors to a career, but what is most important at UCT is what people do with what they learn. We believe the most important goal of education is to unleash human potential, to build a fair and just society.

“This is the central focus of UCT’s Vision 2030 strategic statement,” UCT interim Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy said.

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