UFH ready for registration after receiving record-breaking number of applicants for 2023 academic year

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On Monday, 30 January 2023, the University of Fort Hare will commence with registration and it’s all systems go according to Dr Rose Masha, UFH Deputy-Registrar: Academic Administration.

To date, with the opening of late applications this week, the University has received a record-breaking 258 726 applications for undergraduate studies from first time entering (FTEN) students for the 2023 academic year.  Applications to UFH increased from 38 000 for the 2022 academic year to 258 726 this year - this represented 580% year-on-year increase.

Late applications for under and postgraduate science and agricultural programmes, and for some programmes in the Management and Commerce Faculty opened on Monday and will close tomorrow, 27 January. 

The University is expecting to register approximately 16 500 students and approximately 3500 of these are FTENs.

A recent study by the Directorate:  Institutional Advancement (Marketing and Communications) showed that students selected the University because of its location, the strong executive leadership team and because of the institution’s good reputation.  The latter is the sum part of the recent excellence and achievements in Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs and the Research programmes that are major determinants of the reputation of an institution of Higher Education.

Correlatively, the institution also saw a 52.74% spike in new website users in its website Google Analytics during 2022 as the recruitment period for the academic year compared to 2021.

From the applications received, more than 50% of applicants had a Grade 12 Bachelor’s pass, making them eligible for studies at the institution.   

Data released by the UFH Deputy Registrar’s Office indicated the average Admission Points Score (APS), which is used to calculate an admission score from matric results, for applicants for the academic year 2023 stood at 27 points on average. This was significantly higher in relation to the aggregate APS score of the previous years.

“The strong academic profile of the 2023 FTEN student body will also enable us to create stronger pipeline from undergraduate to postgraduate studies, a view shared by the Registrar’s Office,” said JP Roodt, UFH Director of Marketing and Communication.

According to Dr Masha, three significant factors may have contributed to the spike in applications.

“Firstly, the University has gained traction in being the University of choice based on the stability observed by our stakeholders in recent years. Secondly, there are fewer disruptions, better governance and better systems overall as a reflection of the Decade of Renewal. Lastly, there is also a much positive media profiling that links to a positive image of the University, thereby boosting stakeholder confidence in UFH,” said Dr Masha.

Mr Roodt added that other factors include research that was conducted to understand youth audiences to improve marketing and communications, a new digital online application system that was successfully deployed and the fact that the University did not charge application fees this year.

The pilot digitization process opened on 1 June 2022 with a complete online application system that enables automated selection systems by Faculties. This also includes a system that considers Grade 12 applicants upgrading their results. The advantage of this system is that it enables the institution to access results from Umalusi directly, ensuring applicants no longer have to come on campus to submit their results statements.  The final selections and offers are made through Email, SMS and the student portal to applicants.

With a few days to registration, Dr Masha confidently assured that the University was “more than ready for the process.

“We have, for the first time introduced a no-walk-ins late online application cycle targeting qualifications that have not met their quotas. This ensures more efficiency and applicants do not have to travel from afar when they can simply go online and check which qualifications still has spaces and apply for these online.”

“In addition, we have a structured schedule for all prospective students, and the website has been prepared in readiness. All Faculties are currently finalising their selection. Online registration readiness has been system tested several times to ensure very minimum glitches and support teams have also been put in place.”

All registration-related information has been on the UFH website (https://www.ufh.ac.za/) since the second week of January 2023. A structured registration schedule to support FTENs who want to come and register on campus has also been sent to admitted students and is readily available on the website and social media.

The University has also put in place measures to ensure a COVID-compliant registration process.

We look forward to welcoming you to this Great African University.