UCT Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng has received backlash following a remark she made on social media telling a potential student to go to another university as UCT would not accept her ‘level of results’.
Mamokgethi Phakeng was having a question and answer session with would be UCT students and parents on her personal Instagram page on Sunday.
During the session matriculants questioned criteria for university admission, UCT’s processes especially.
Instagram user Leedlaminii asked: “Can you improve the chances of being accepted into UCT with your Grade 12 March, June, September and final report if your Grade 11 final report isn’t so great.”
Phakeng replied: “My suggestion is that you go to another university that will accept your level of results. Don’t stress yourself.”
Although the comment was later deleted it was criticized on social media.
User Dali Maseko asked: “In what world is this response appropriate?I don’t think you should be discouraging potential students so freely.”
Phakeng later tweeted:
Never glorify any varsity. Getting a diploma pass or not being admitted to UCT is not the end of the world. There’e many successful people who, like me, didn’t study at UCT & have done very well in their careers. If you dont get accepted dont think its the end, try something else pic.twitter.com/tUNsCuGYMy
— FabAcademic (@FabAcademic) January 11, 2020
UCT spokesperson Nombuso Shambalala defended Phakeng saying she had advised applicants to explore other options for tertiary education as entry to UCT is not the only ingredient for academic success.
Fees Must Fall Western Cape said:
“We think this response is unbecoming of someone who is a VC of any educational institution, this is a snide remark at other universities. We demand that she apologize to the student and reach out to her.”
University of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Labby Ramrathan said Phakeng’s response was unacceptable and discouraging.
Many concerned people sent me this picture & my response is clearly not appropriate for Grade 11 student. I give this response to those who didn’t do well in matric. In trying to assist matriculants I thought this was a grade 12 student. See my explanation on the DM screenshot. pic.twitter.com/SM08VUBaKu
— FabAcademic (@FabAcademic) January 13, 2020
More: Cape Times