REFILE-UPDATE 2-One killed in South Africa university stampede

Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:08pm GMT
 

(Refiles to fix typo)

* Experts see registration rush as sign of desperation

* Education struggles to adapt to post-apartheid changes

By Lisa Laventure

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 10 (Reuters) - One person was killed and about 20 injured in a stampede on Tuesday by students trying to register at the University of Johannesburg, reflecting desperate demand for higher education among the poor in Africa's largest economy.

Thousands of potential applicants had lined up for days for about 800 slots at the university, most of them from poor families but who had scored high enough on national exams to be considerated for higher education.

The application process has been open for weeks but many poor students do not have Internet access and could not apply online. The crush was caused by students pushing their way into offices on the final day for applications, university officials said.

"What led to the frenzy was a desperation amongst the students because they see entrance into university as their only chance," said Ruksana Osman, a professor of education at the University of Witwatersrand.

The person killed was a mother of a potential applicant, university officials said, while emergency services official Nana Radebe said about 20 people had been injured, at least three of them seriously.   Continued...

 
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