Department of Higher Education and Training deputy minister, Buti Manamela said WSU was at a better place in 2019 than it was last year during his national university registration visits.


In the first week of registration WSU had registered just over 50 percent of its first year targeted intake and 2000 returning students through online registration which helps reduce long queues and congestion.


“I am happy with the report and hope that everyone is happy as well, especially the students. I was here last year and I can see things have changed. That’s why we like engaging our stakeholders so that we can gauge the atmosphere,” said Manamela.


WSU Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Rob Midgley reported that 50 percent of WSU protests were a result of issues related to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).


“A staggering 95 percent of WSU students are eligible for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and less than five percent are self-funded,” said Midgley.


According to the Vice-Chancellor, the Institution takes students from a 1000km radius, many of which are from schools ranking at quintile one to three.


The quintile ranking system by government divides public schools and learners into five groups based on their poverty levels. Quintile one being the poorest while quintile five is the least poor.


Midgley also reported that the university had managed to source privately owned student accommodation to increase the students housed, this has reduced the number of squatting students.


“We’re not quite there yet but we’re making progress,” he said.


The reduction of a one-billion-rand student debt was one of the issues discussed at the stakeholder meeting.


The Deputy Minister added that previously disadvantaged universities like WSU benefitted from government subsidies after the former president made the announcement of free tertiary education.


By: Sinawo Hermans

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