Universities To Welcome More Than A Million Students In 2023

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Education is viewed as one of the most important instruments to reduce poverty in South Africa. The government has committed to ensuring education is accessible to students, which they believe will have long-term benefits.

 


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President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed the government's commitment to ensuring education remains accessible to students around South Africa. This comes as the president acknowledged that in the long term, one of the most effective instruments to end poverty is education.

Speaking at the African National Congress (ANC) national conference, Ramaphosa explained that the 54th National Conference resolved to improve access to higher education through, among other interventions, the provision of free higher education for students from poor and working-class backgrounds.

The expansion of access to higher education is a great achievement that will benefit the economy and the country for many years to come.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) provides bursaries to poor and working-class backgrounds that cover all the costs associated with studies. This includes covering tuition costs, accommodation costs, transportation costs, stationery costs and living costs.

Ramaphosa explained, “As a consequence, funding by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme for poor and working-class students in universities and TVET colleges rose from R21 billion in 2018 to R38.6 billion in 2021. The total number of students funded increased from 580,000 to 770,000 over the same period.”

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) anticipates that more than 1 million students will enrol in academic programmes at public universities in 2023. This comes as the department projects more than 1.1 million enrollments.

It is expected that 196,324 students will be enrolling in courses at public universities for the first time in 2023. Around 66,000 of these students will be studying a course in scarce skills areas. They are:

  • Engineering: 17 306
  • Life and Physical Science: 16 199
  • Animal Sciences: 593
  • Veterinary Sciences: 208
  • Human Health: 9 233
  • Teacher Education: 22 534

Universities South Africa (USAf) says the male-to-female ratio for 2023 university enrollments is predicted to be 40:60 (40% male, 60% female).

The group expects that 65% of students will be situated at residential universities while the remaining 35% of students will participate in distance learning.

Here Are South Africa’s 2023 University Enrollment Numbers
 

University 

Returning Students 

First Time Entering Enrolment (FTEN) 

FTEN Applications 

Academic Year Start Date 2023 

Central University of Technology 

23,998

4,515

211,147

31 January - 6 February 

Cape Peninsula University of Technol

23,443

8,878

359,261

13 - 27 February 

Durban University of Technology 

22,519

8,564

172,873

3-17 February

Mangosuthu University of Technology

11,000

3,300

83,133

3 - 17 February

Nelson Mandela University 

27,300

7,185

95,940

20 February 

North West University 

43,219

12,726

193,515

17 February 

Rhodes University

7,501

1,455

19,500

13 February

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

5,800

1,000

70,048

3 - 17 February

Stellenbosch University 

16,100

5,615

64,500

16 - 20 January 

University of Cape Town 

13,929

4,039

102,813

30 January 

University of Free State 

33,734

8,000

342,203

3 - 17 February

University of Fort Hare 

3,630

16,000

219,017

6 - 11 February

University of Johannesburg 

41,841

10,504

319,577

16 - 20 January 

University of KwaZulu-Natal

29,560

10,100

>200,000

23 January 

University of Limpopo

17,093

5,143

203,537

26 January - 10 February

University of the Western Cape 

19,900

5,400

140,000

13 February 

University of Pretoria 

40,000

9,272

44,241

20 February

University of South Africa

331,912

45,000

170,000

3 - 17 February 

Vaal University of Technology 

13,545

4,782

97,965

16 - 26 January

University of the Witwatersrand,

25,000

5,552

100,000

1-17 February

Walter Sisulu University of Technology  

23,000

7,15

461,444

23 January 

There is still time for students to apply for enrollment in selected academic programmes at universities during the 2023 academic year. Information on these universities can be found on the Careers Portal

 

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