Registration chaos on WSU and UFH campuses

Stundents are seen at East London WSU Eskom House campus as they try to register.
Stundents are seen at East London WSU Eskom House campus as they try to register.

Police were called at the University of Fort Hare’s East London campus and Walter Sisulu University’s Ibika campus in Butterworth after chaos broke out during registration.

At UFH, student leaders and SRC disrupted the registration process of the first-year students, claiming this was in reaction to certain conditions the university attached to registration.

Hundreds of prospective WSU students who wanted assistance with online registration were prevented from entering the campus.

UFH student leader at the East London campus Sikhonza Madasa said they were disgruntled that NSFAS students would have to possess a signed NSFAS agreement form before being allowed to register.

Madasa said: “NSFAS has not returned the agreement forms so students cannot be disadvantaged because of something that is not their fault.”

There was also chaos at WSU’s Potsdam site on Monday when the SRC advised students to go home because there was no-one to assist them with the online registration system introduced by the university.

WSU spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo said  the institution had automated its system and no registration would take place on campus.  

“The registrar, Khaya Maphinda, issued various notifications to this effect.

“Both first-year and continuing students must register online prior to coming to campus,” she said.

Though the university introduced the online applications and registration, not all students were able to do the processes on their own.

Student leader Sandile Mbewu at Ibika campus told the Dispatch no students  were allowed inside, “only the staff are inside”, he said.

Mbewu said prospective students had come to the university as they were unable to use the system on their own.

SRC president at the Buffalo City campus, Sipho Sizani, said they spent the whole of Sunday trying to help students register.

“Most students were unable to register because their admission statuses were still appearing as ‘pending’,” he said.

Sizani called on university management to suspend all registration processes until the issue of admission was sorted out.

“The university must allow the admission process to be finished and then move on with registration.

“Everything is a mess. Even those who have managed to register successfully were unable to move on to the part where they apply for accommodation, because the system does not allow them to,” he said.

The SRC president at the Mthatha campus, Sihle Msomi, said they also had a problem of students who were unable to use the online registration system.

“The SRC has made an arrangement with staff to help first-year students register online,” he said.

Tukwayo said most application statuses had been updated.

“There are, however, academic departments that are still busy completing their selection criteria.” 

She said the registrar had indicated all statuses would be updated by Friday.  

“Prospective students are encouraged to check their application statuses regularly and to register as soon as possible after they have been admitted.

“The beauty about the online system is that students are not limited to registering during working hours.

Furthermore, both new and continuing students are encouraged follow the registration guideline as posted on various online platforms including the official WSU Facebook page.”

Students were asked to use the call centre or WSU’s WhatsApp line, 079-378-3102. 

Students could also call:

Buffalo City: 043-702-9200 / 708-5200 

Chiselhurst/Butterworth: 043-709-400

Queenstown: 040-842-6800

Mthatha: 047-502-2997

UFH's deputy registrar of academic administration Dr Rose Masha said students who would only be allowed to register if they met certain criteria.

These were:

  • Late applicants who qualified would be placed only where there were spaces;
  • Students would have to be cleared by NSFAS and have signed an agreement form before being allowed to register;
  • Self-funded students who were debt-free or who had signed an acknowledgment of debt could register;
  • International students who were “finance unblocked”, had a study permit and had medical insurance.
  • First-time international students would be required to produce a SAQA (SA Qualifications Authority) clearance.

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