7 Things You Can Do in South Africa if No University Accepts You

7 Things You Can Do in South Africa if No University Accepts You

What to do if no university accepts you south africaLet’s face it. Most South Africans dream of joining one of the country’s top universities when the time comes.

However, the reality is that a majority will not end up joining.

There are very limited spaces in the country’s leading universities, and they are allocated through a merit system.

Every year, thousands apply for slots they will not get. At one point, the University of Johannesburg reported receiving 135,500 applications against a vacancy of 10,500. That’s more than 10 times the number they were accepting.

University of Zululand in 2017 received 80,000 applications against 5000 slots.

Many universities do not even accept ‘walk-in’ applications, meaning you have to apply through the department of higher education’s Central Application Clearing House.

Receiving a rejection letter, or worse no reply, is something many South Africans grapple with and this will continue for the foreseeable future, probably forever.

Here are some ways you can help your situation if this ever happens to you.

Read: How To Immigrate to Australia from South Africa

What to do if no university accepts you

1. Follow up

Of course the most harmless thing you can do is follow up on your application. As mentioned above, university staff deal with heaps upon heaps of application letters, and it is likely that your derseving application may be lost in the pile, or erroneously rejected.

There have been many cases of students whose applications were rejected just because some documents got misplaced by the staff handling them etc.

Some other times, you may be accepted but the letter never arrives. This could be due to a million reasons, from not being sent to getting lost in the mail.

Some universities allow you to check your application status online, while for others you may have to give them a call.

If you find out you are rejected, but strongly feel the decision is wrong based on your credentials and the university policies, you may be able to appeal that decision.


2. Reapply

Nothing really stops you from applying for the same course in the same university a year later.

If you feel so strongly about that particular institution, and that particular course, perhaps waiting a year is not too bad. It can actually be the most palatable option if you have something planned for that period.

Here are some things you can actually do during your gap year.

Before reapplying, make sure you make necessary updates on your applications.

To increase your chances during reapplication, you can choose to take certain steps, such as:

/ Bridging courses

If specific grades required for particular courses did not meet requirements, you can take a bridging course to bring them up to par.

/ Remarking or retaking exam

If you think you did better than what your results showed, you can request for remarking. This is no guarantee that your marks will improve.

If you failed 2 or less subjects, you can qualify for supplementary exams. Retaking them is no guarantee of success, but there’s no harm in trying.


3. Try FET colleges

Although universities may not have enough slots for everyone, there are still plenty of spaces for FET (Further Education and Training) colleges.

This is particularly true for those students whose marks just fell short of the university requirements. Often they may find themselves ‘over qualified’ in certain colleges, but that’s okay.

In fact, they may end up being very competitive in the job market owing to the hands-on training offered here as opposed to some universities.

Also, the diploma earned here can later be upgraded to a degree easily, as some units will be already covered, shortening your study period.


4. Apply for an internship

If you find one in the field you are interested in learning, that’s even better. It may either reinforce your passion, or show you what a monumental hole you were about to dig yourself into.

As an untrained worker, approach these opportunities without any expectation of pay. Treat them as your lecture hall or university lab.


5. Register for a learnership

These are great opportunities to develop your skills or career.

It is a great way to get relevant industry skills free of charge. In fact, you get to take home a monthly stipend.

They are not always available, and when opportunities appear, they get snapped up fast. It’s therefore good to keep an eye on organizations offering them.


6. Self-train yourself

Thanks to the internet, you don’t need a lot to acquire very marketable skills. There are uncountable free courses online that will not only make you better at the career you hope to get in, but may end up being new careers all together.

Get on YouTube and teach yourself something. You may be the next big baker or graphic designer or software programmer this side of the Sahara.

Big organizations like Google even offer real certifications that can be included on your resume.


7. Accept a different offer

This one is for those who have received an offer different from their dream institution.

It should be common knowledge that students should apply to more than one institution, and for that matter more than one degree. In fact, many universities make this a requirement during application.

Spread your wings so you don’t leave yourself exposed when the letters start getting returned.

It is much safer to receive many acceptance letters to choose from, than one rejection letter.

Prepare yourself mentally for a potential rejection from your dream university. If that happens, but another offer from a different university comes through, take it.

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