More black students to join Wits Health Sciences Faculty


While its indirect competitor has made news for diluting the quota elements of its admissions policy, the University of Witwatersrand is showing commitment to transform itself, at least the complexion of its faculty admissions.

In a statement mailed to Transform SA, the university spokeswoman, Vivienne Rowland, revealed that the institution had revised its admissions policy across faculties. One of the most profound changes would result in top performing black students from rural and low quintile schools taking up 60 percent of health sciences faculty admissions.

The 60 percent would be divided into three categories. Approximately 20 percent of the places would go to top performing rural pupils, another 20 percent to top performing pupils from quintile one and two schools, and the other 20 percent to top performing black and coloured pupils.

South African public schools are divided into five quintiles, with the poorest schools being quintile one and the least poor quintile five.

Academic merit would determine admissions to the remaining 40 percent of places, said Rowland.

Following the changes, those applying for the 2015 academic year would not be required to complete a biographical questionnaire (BQ), Rowland revealed. “Their matric results will carry a 50 percent weighting and the results of their national benchmark tests (NBTs) will make up the other 50 percent.”

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