222 - Management & Administrative Challenges


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222 - Management & Administrative Challenges

  1. 1. UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA Hettie Kirstein 1
  2. 2. During this presentation I’d like to share with you, the problems wehave in South Africa with learners, who finished high school theprevious year and who turned up at the beginning of the academicyear, without applying to any Tertiary Institution.To have a better understanding, I would like to give you some insightof the background and problems some of our students experience.Please close your eyes for a few moments. Try to see the following picture:Imagine a small single-roomed dwelling, constructed of corrugatediron and cardboard. No windows and on the roof, stones to keep theroof intact. There is no toilet, bathroom, no running water, electricityor TV!You can open your eyes. Do you have this picture in your mind? 2
  3. 3. Do you have this picture in your mind? 3
  4. 4. • This small dwelling might be occupied by a family of 6, 7 or 8. Let’s say one of these family members is a grade 12 scholar – and let’s call him Sipho.• Sipho enjoys studying and walks six miles to school daily. He’s a hard worker, after school he has other duties - for example he needs to walk a long way to fetch water for his family. After all his duties, he starts with his homework, usually by candle light.• Sipho may be living in a squatter environment like this where no infrastructure exist or may be living in an informal tribal village with limited provision of infrastructure - including community facilities and schools. 4
  5. 5. Madikwe Mankwe 5
  6. 6. • This is a map of the rural area of the districts Madikwe and Mankwe.• This district extends over an area of 56 by 45 miles and contains approximately 120 informal tribal villages.• Here you can see the two districts. If any of you have been to South Africa, you would have probably visited Pilansberg National Park. Here. 6
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  8. 8. • A tribal village is a settlement in which land is controlled by the head of a tribe who allocates portions to villagers without the benefit of any formal survey or registration procedure• The small dwelling of Sipho and his family may be located in any one of these villages (for instance Mabeskraal) where he attends school.• Informal Tribal villages are common to the traditional regions in SA, while squatter camps are generally found close to formal towns and cities• This map will give you an idea of how a typical Tribal Village looks like. This is the only high school in the village and the small dwelling of Sipho and his family may be located here 8
  9. 9. • At the end of the year, Sipho writes exams and because of his hard work, he does well. When he receives his results at the beginning of the following year, his certificate had an endorsement ........ “for Degree studies”.• At home, Sipho tells his mom that he passed his grade 12 and it shows on the certificate that he can study at a University. His mom is just as excited as he and they decide that he may go to the big city to study.• The very next morning they take a taxi to the nearest University. When they arrive at the University ........... there are thousands of other students with the same goal – to obtain entrance to the university. 9
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  11. 11. BIG GROUP OF STUDENTS IN FRONT OF THEUNIVERSITY• And that is the background - the reality. There are thousands of Siphos, and ... one of the reasons why, at the beginning of every academic year, tertiary institutions in South Africa are flooded with learners who have not applied in time.VIDEO OF STAMPEDE• This year, the mother of a prospective student died and 17 were injured in a stampede at one of our universities. 11
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  13. 13. • When people like Sipho and his mother arrive at universities, they cannot understand why there are no spaces available.• We at tertiary institutions should realise that grade 12 learners – or see it as prospective students – are not properly informed – not just about the correct choices of subjects, but more crucially, about other facts such as• deadlines for applications,• requirements for entrance to programmes• information on the various tertiary educational institutions and what they offer. 13
  14. 14. Every year we face an outcry from unsatisfied learners and their parents. Here are a few comments on “On News24” on the Internet, just after the stampede• “I wonder why the university administration did not do something about this in order to avert this problem”• “No one is telling us what’s going on”• “I wish the education system can be improved to avoid such incidents”• “I’ts the lack of adequate career guidance at secondary level” 14
  15. 15. This year, about 370 000 learners qualify for Universityentrance.South Africa’s university system has room for around170 000 freshman students. This means that about200 000 grade 12 learners whose results qualify them forfurther studies cannot find spaces.Universities receive thousands of applications every year.After the grade 12 examination results are made availablein January, thousands of learners who did not apply theprevious year, flock to universities and want to apply foradmission. 15
  16. 16. All the Universities in South Africa have a closing date for applications, although the precise closing dates may differ from institution to institution and programme to programme. Universities in general, receive more applications than they have spaces for. For example• The UJ received 85 000 applications for the 2012 academic year and had space for only 11 000 students.• The University of the Witwatersrand had 5 500 spaces but received 30 000 applications.• The University of KwaZulu-Natal, could only admit 9 000, and received 61 500 applications and• The University of the Free State, which could admit 4 000 received 13 000 applications. (UP: 33 000 applications, 13 000 places) 16
  17. 17. • Some of the Institutions keep waiting lists; others do not as they accept more applications than they have spaces in anticipation that some applicants fall out as a result of poor performance in their final examinations or unexpected financial or personal crises.• Within that group of thousands of pupils who show up late, there are probably some good students like Sipho, but how can staff at universities identify students with merit when they turn up late with thousands of others.• I cannot address the shortage of facilities at universities in our country, but hope to address the problems that occur because thousands of prospective students flock to universities at the beginning of each new academic year. 17
  18. 18. • Administrative and academic staff currently plan and set up programmes for the students who have applied in time and been accepted. Important information is sent to these students. When these students arrive at the University as planned, the staff members are able to help them. Services offered includes orientation, help with financial and residence problems, advice on choice of courses, curriculum problems, timetables and registration. Universities do not have the capacity to assist the extra thousands of students who turn up at the beginning of an academic year, but each and every student who turns up late, desperately needs someone’s attention. 18
  19. 19. Questions can be asked about how is it possible that somany learners apply for tertiary education only after receivingtheir grade 12 results?• Do they have so little faith in their ability to pass that they have given no consideration on the next step?• Is the information provided by schools inadequate?• Is there an understanding about which subjects would qualify the student for a chosen course of study?• Or is it the case that there is simply a lack of proper information at the crucial time?With whom does the responsibility lie for communicatinginformation to prospective students in good time? 19
  20. 20. • The way current role players communicate to young people is obviously not working and this result in huge problems. For example• NiSHE (National information service for higher Education) in South Africa has published a guide for learners. This is a Wonderful booklet with information on every aspect of Higher Education. Ten thousand copies were published and distributed throughout the country, but how many learners received this publication? How many people should be reached?• Significantly, this booklet is 69 pages long and yet nowhere on any page is there information on when to apply and how important it is to apply to tertiary Institutions in good time. 20
  21. 21. Communication to young people is obviously not working .Pupils need easy reading – concise information in PLAINLANGUAGE 21
  22. 22. According to the South African Green paper on Higher Educationreleased in January 2012, three million young people between theages of 18-24 are neither accommodated in education nor beingtrained or employed within the labour market.The Government aims to raise university enrolment by 2030 to 1.5millionThese prospective students need to get the correct informationIN TIME!WHAT CAN UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES DO ??Please keep in mind that the problems I state here, does not reflect onschools in the vicinity of Universities.Marketing and communication between these schools and universitiesare excellent. 22
  23. 23. Universities and other tertiary institutions are facing a challengein communicating effectively, to students living in tribal villagesor in a squatter environment – and especially with all the talentedand hardworking Siphos in South Africa. 23
  24. 24. From as early as grade 9, scholars needed to know: What an EARLY decision is and what are the advantage of earlydecisions, relating to the admissions process.What the application process is andWhat students must typically do to complete applications in theyear preceding their admission.A lot of students do know these things, but not all.Scholars need to know why they have to apply early!Here are a few reasons: The acceptance rate is higher for those that qualify. Students who are not accepted still have time to apply at another Institution. Students, who have been accepted early, are able to stop stressing about getting into the university. Students who apply in time, know early if they are able to receive financial help and have accommodation. 24
  25. 25. I would therefore argue that it is essential to give prospectivestudents a brief, clear “Admission Checklist “.Students can then ensure their applications are correctlycompleted and all necessary documents are attached.Such checklists could be distributed when marketing visits are madeto schools and at open days and fairs.There must be ways to reach students – and the following isonly my opinion:Teachers, especially in rural areas, need to be well-trained to giveeffective and correct advice to scholars.The booklet produced by NiSHE (HESA) is a valuable informationsource for teachers.Local Radio stations should be approached to inform students aboutadmission procedures on a regular basis.Checklists and information should be available on the Social Media(Twitter or Face book) – as many school pupils in rural areas dohave mobile phones 25
  26. 26. Current students whose parents, family and friends are living in ruralareas could be paid a small fee to hand out flyersIn Rural areas there are Government Multi-Purpose Centres – it is likea Community centre - where some smaller Departments such as HomeAffairs are situated. They are equipped to handle various servicessuch as issuing ID’s. Perhaps they could also hand out flyers and evenexpand to contain Education Centres where trained people can reachout to prospective students in rural communities.My university – The University of Pretoria - runs a Junior Tukkieoutreach programme aimed at promising scholars. This could also beused to reach out to potential good students at an early stage, firstlyto give them good advice on the right choice of school subjects andsecondly to advise those scholars on the processes needed to obtainentrance to any higher education institution.They also need to know of other available options and thatUniversities are not the only choice. 26
  27. 27. I am thinking of compiling a one page easily readable pamphlet withsome visual notes to draw attention on valuable information withimpact covering areas like:What is EARLY action?Importance of early action in the admissions processPreparation for University in Grade 9 –Correct subject choicesPreparation for University in Grade 11 –Getting good preliminary resultsPreparation for University in Grade 12 –Meet the deadlines for applications and tests – Follow up – otheroptions – acceptation letter 27