Matrics of 2021 face tough reality of limited opportunities for tertiary studies

One institution, the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, has already received 44,000 applications from prospective students, however, it only has space for about 1,000 people.

FILE: Prospective students at Wits University. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With matric results being released from Wednesday morning, many young people are having to make tough decisions about what to do next given the sorry state of the economy and the limited space available at universities and colleges.

One such institution, the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, has already received 44,000 applications from prospective students, however, it only has space for about 1,000 people.

IEB private schools are releasing last year's matric results on Wednesday, which will allow them to submit their final marks to tertiary institutions for acceptance.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to release the national pass rate at government schools on Thursday evening and pupils are expected to receive their individual marks on Friday morning.

The country's top achievers in the matric class of 2021 have now been contacted by the Basic Education Department and are expected to meet on Wednesday.

The names of the top achievers from public schools will be released on Thursday evening when Minister Angie Motshekga announces the overall pass rate.

"We are ready to also make sure that the examination results are available at the schools where the candidates go, and they will collect these on Friday," said the department's Elijah Mahlanga.

Once pupils have their results in their hands the tough decisions start, with very few places available at tertiary institutions.

The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University's Lusani Netshitomboni said that they'd already been overwhelmed by applications, with 44,000 prospective students vying for a place when only 1,000 were available.

"There is a high demand for access to higher education in the country. It creates challenges that not just SMU has to contend with but how to deal with this situation and where do these students go," Netshitomboni said.

With only a few weeks before universities and colleges welcome new students, it remains to be seen how many young people will be left disappointed and how many will have to look abroad for further education.