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Rant all you want, but that varsity rejected your child for a ...


Rant all you want, but that varsity rejected your child for a good reason

FREE TO READ | Before outraged moms and dads hit social media, they need to consider a few facts


It is the time of the year when a matriculating youngster’s (and parent’s) heart is about to be broken. Universities inform students whether they have been provisionally accepted for studies pending, of course, the final results of the National Senior Certificate examination (the old matric exam). In competitive fields such as medicine or architecture, where there is often an additional university selection process, those who do not gain entry find themselves bitterly disappointed. The responses are familiar.

My child did not get in because of racial quotas. Since she was a little child, my daughter wanted to be a doctor and that is not going to change. My son got 90% in his NSC exam, and they still would not take him for medicine. Now what do we do?

The disappointment is understandable, especially when it comes to one’s own children. Sometimes the parents do strange things out of desperation. One of my deans rushed to my office when I was vice-chancellor and asked for advice: a parent whose child was not selected for a prestige programme had left a thick wad of cash on his desk. This dean was a man of integrity, so there was never a question of taking the money; what he wanted to know was how to respond to this act of outright bribery – report the matter to the police, or call in the parent to fetch the cash, or something else?..

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