Call centre assisting students with applications

Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Buti Manamela says the Central Application Clearing House (CACH) call centre is better placed to assist students who have not applied or those who are not able to find space at institutions of higher learning.

According to officials from CACH, the demand for the platform is much higher this year as it already has a total of 17 500 signups done by the call centre and 15 000 online application signups.

The total number of signups for 2019 stands at about 32 000 compared to 35 000 that was done over a three-month period in 2018.

CACH opened on 4 January for the 2019 academic year and it is particularly useful for applicants or individuals who have applied for admission to a university or college, but have not been offered a place in their programme of choice.

“We are excited that already in the first two weeks, we have almost matched the numbers for 2018 in terms of the use of CACH and this shows that students are confident in the service,” Manamela said.

The Deputy Minister on Tuesday visited the Central Application Clearing House (CACH) Call Centre in Randburg for a walkabout, which formed part of the registration monitoring process the Deputy Minister has been conducting nationally at institutions of higher learning.

“We are here to find out what work has been done so far in the first two weeks of the CACH and also to try and encourage students to use CACH, especially those who have applied but have not gotten any space in the different universities and to encourage universities to use the service so students can be placed in different faculties,” the Deputy Minister said.

He said some technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges and universities still had space.

“We believe the CACH is an important platform for both students and universities that will ensure that we have successful registrations,” the Deputy Minister said.

Manamela said he will be meeting with the exam units at TVET colleges at the end of the week to understand the extent of the current backlog in issuing students with qualifications and what can be done to avert future backlogs at TVET colleges.

CACH lead supervisor at the call centre, Sharon Moodley, said the platform has had about 50 000 interactions with students. This includes 12 000 calls, 26 000 SMSs, 9 000 emails and 5 000 voicemails.

“Compared to the statistics for 2018, we surveyed a percentage of the population every year to see the success rate of CACH. We did a sample size of 65% of the total signups for 2018. The total signups for 2018 was 35 000… The compilation showed that 7 200 students were studying at post-school education and training institutions,” said Moodley. – SAews.gov.za