Again this year, hundreds of thousands of disappointed students will be turned away by the handful of universities in South Africa that can simply not accommodate the demand from prospective first-year students qualified for admission to university. Fortunately, there is a smart solution for savvy students, and it is a solution that also offers a host of benefits.
The application deadlines for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) have passed and these institutions have already warned that they will not accept "walk-ins" or late applications. The universities can each only accept around 10% of first-year students who have already applied for admission. In the case of UJ, more than 100,000 students will be turned away, as only 10,500 first-year students can be admitted from the 111,200 who have already applied. In the case of Wits, which received 51,000 applications for 6,255 first-year places, almost 45,000 students will be have their dreams of attending university this year dashed.
So what is the alternative? Instead of simply giving up your dream of furthering your education and obtaining a qualification, investigate a smart solution that will shave years - and tens of thousands of rands - off your educational journey: a two-year diploma obtained through a registered and recognised Further Education and Training (FET) college.
"There are a host of benefits associated with opting for the right two-year diploma, instead of simply abandoning your dreams of furthering your education due to the lack of capacity at the few universities in South Africa," comments Holger Schonfeld, Senior Managing Partner of the College for Business & Maritime Studies (CBMS), based in Braamfontein. "Firstly, FET colleges offer a practical approach to obtaining the skills required to enter the job market, rather than the theoretical foundation a university degree provides.
In two years' time, while university students admitted this year will still face another year of undergraduate studies - and the cost thereof - as well as a significant lack of practical experience that will hamper their ability to find a job, you will have a diploma in hand, along with the hands-on training and practical skills required to enter the job market immediately, qualified and skilled to take up a well-paying position among thousands of companies desperate for workers with practical skills and experience. Secondly, the right FET college will offer more personal attention in smaller classes presented by lecturers with real life experience, as well as site visits and tours that build the practical skills and experience that exponentially improve your chances of being employed immediately after completion of your studies. Furthermore, selecting an internationally-recognised diploma course will give you access to global job opportunities, allowing you to work anywhere in the world.
"Studying at the right FET college also means that you won't miss out on the vibrant student life in 'Braamies' that is one of the main attractions for young students. Studying at an FET college in 'Braamies' ensures you can meet and network with future channel captains from all over Africa, who converge here to shape their own futures and that of the continent," adds Schonfeld. "And, perhaps most importantly, if you have your heart set on obtaining a university degree, your diploma can be upgraded to a degree at a later stage, as local universities will give you credits towards a degree based on existing qualifications. In fact, the right diploma can bring your dream of obtaining a degree much closer, faster and more cost-effectively. For example, CBMS' globally-recognised two-year ICM Diploma in International Trade, Transport and Logistics not only qualifies you to work anywhere in the world, it is also equivalent to a first-year honours degree, giving you immediate access to your second-year honours studies at 130 universities around the world. This means you could obtain a full honours degree in just three years - and at a significantly lower cost - than spending three years completing an undergraduate degree and another year in completing the first year of an honours degree following the traditional university route."
In fact, not being admitted to university could well be a blessing in disguise for intelligent, ambitious young people who are willing to transform this perceived setback into an opportunity that will shortcut their career success while opening new possibilities.
"For many students, especially those who prefer practical, hands-on skills training that will fast-track their career success while still allowing them to enjoy the vibrant student life in 'Braamies' and to fulfil their dreams of obtaining university degree, a two-year diploma at a registered and recognised FET college is certainly a smart solution," concludes Schonfeld. "There is a wide range of diploma courses available to choose from - from Engineering, Business Studies, Logistics, Supply Chain Management and Transport to Art, Music and Food Services - that offer great scope for a variety of career paths and access to the best, well-paying positions. When pursuing the smart solution of obtaining a diploma, we invite you to visit our website supplychaincollege.co.za to find an intelligent approach to choosing the right study course to help you achieve your goals."
For more information visit the College for Business & Maritime Studies