The University of Botswana (UB) last week abandoned its controversial first some first serve admission system after it became increasingly evident that it is unsustainable.
The Director of Public Affairs at UB, Reetsang Mhitshane, said that they abandoned the new system after it emerged that it was causing unnecessary chaos that the UB had failed to foresee.
The first come first serve system was meant to improve efficiency and shorten the admission process from months to days.
She apologized to the parents of the prospective employees who had been disadvantaged by the new system, saying that it was never their intention to disenfranchise students.
“We were simply trying to improve efficiency. But we have since decided to abandon the system because it is causing more harm than good. From now onwards we will use the old system” she said.
The first come first served initiative resulted in hopefuls stampeding the university premises in the hope that they will be admitted not because of merit, but because they submitted applications first. Some of the students spent nights queuing at the UB premises.
The ones that didn’t have accommodation in Gaborone allegedly slept in student halls or at the university stadium.
It was also reported that as early as 3am, university hopefuls would be found queuing outside the UB stadium with numbers they claimed the security guards had just handed to them.
“There is no truth to the rumors that security guards were giving out numbers to students at 3am in the morning, the university staff only starts working at 8,not 3am,”said Reetsang.
The University has also publicly denied that it has admitted any prospective students for the next academic year of 2010/2011.Its reported that a number of university hopefuls thought that they had been accepted by the university when they immediately received letters after submitting their applications.
UB has however revealed that it has handed letters of acknowledgement to the prospective students who had submitted their application forms and not admission letters as some students had initially thought.
UB says that the staff is currently going through the application forms to fill out the expected 4500 seats that it’s expecting this year. This year there will be a decrease of student intake from last year s 4848.
Mhitshane revealed that the fact that some students were given acknowledgement letters doesn’t mean that they were accepted by the institution.
“There is no applicant who has been admitted by the university, that’s a fact. We have also realized that this new system cant work because we can’t take on one student at a time,most of the students had chosen courses that were not in line with the points, so we had to sit with some and give them advise on which courses suited them, “said Reetsang.
According to Reetsang the new cut-off point, which is 36 points, which the university changed to align with the ministry of education requirements, could also be partly to blame for the never before seen stampede of university hopefuls at the university’s administration block and stadium.
“Students came in here thinking that having 36 points was a license for them to study any course of their choice. They thought that being the first in line with 36 points meant they would be the first to be admitted, and that was never our intention. We just wanted to curb this culture of people being given months to apply and then only coming on the last week or day of the deadline. In the meantime, we have little or no applications to work through and then our workload is tripled after deadline day, “said Reetsang.