Department Sees Increase In University Enrolments In 2023


A number of universities have commenced with their registrations for the 2023 academic year. Fortunately, some of them will be allowing late applications for their students. This strategy will benefit prospective students who will be entering universities for the first time.




South African universities started their registrations for the 2023 academic year on 16 January 2023 with some confirming that they will close their registrations on 20 February 2023.

According to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), several universities will allow late registrations, such as:

  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Durban University of Technology
  • Mangosuthu University of Technology
  • Rhodes University
  • University of Fort Hare
  • Walter Sisulu University
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • University of Zululand

This is one of many ways that indicate that the university sector had plans in place to accommodate the matric class of 2022, whose matric results release date had been delayed a bit.

It is for this reason that prospective students have been advised to continue to liaise with the universities of their choice through their communication channels. In a statement, Higher Education Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande has announced:

The overall total enrolments within the public university sector for the 2023 academic year is projected to provide 1 112 439 spaces, that is an additional 41 545 spaces. 

In the previous academic year, the department was delighted by the increased enrolment in universities and Nzimande has also highlighted that this illustrates a steady growth in the sector.

Whilst the Higher Education enrolments had been projected to be 208 299 across the country for the 2023 academic year, 69 069 of these first-time entering enrolments will be within scarce skills areas and have been projected as follows:

  • Engineering: 17 085
  • Life and Physical Science: 17 584
  • Animal Sciences: 985
  • Veterinary Sciences: 209
  • Human Health: 10 418
  • Teacher Education: 22 788

A considerable portion of the spaces within scarce skills areas require a National Senior Certificate Mathematics mark of at least 60%.

Nzimande has mentioned that the Department of Science and Innovation has collaborated with the Provincial Departments of Education to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

It will be through such interventions that there will be an increased number of learners passing STEM subjects with at least 60% and more in their matric year.

The department has committed itself to ensure that the entire public sector university system is developed, and that the department intensifies the implementation of the University Capacity Development Programme to improve student success, quality of teaching and learning, including research and to support curriculum renewal in all our universities.




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