Crime on the increase outside Health Sciences Campus

THE WITS Health Sciences community has been hit by increased levels of crime just outside the Parktown campus since the end of last year, according to security guards.

David Mlambo, an external perimeter security guard from Protection Services, said that pedestrians with cellphones were being targeted as they walked along York Road, but recently, there had also been incidents of motor vehicle theft and robberies.

There is at least one incident of theft, or attempted theft, every week, according to Mlambo. He said, they had foiled an attempted theft of a Toyota Etios one day at the end of February but a Toyota Yaris had been stolen the very next day.

“You know, criminals are clever. I have noticed that these criminals move around checking or monitoring us, the security. It is very bad. We are all not safe,” he said.

Mlambo’s sentiments were echoed by Peter Selowa, an independent car guard, who said incidents of crime in the area had increased since the Hillbrow Police Station had cut the frequency of patrol cars.

“The police also need to play a big role. They must be visible. I think it might help,” said Mlambo.

Third-year medical student Revaan Singh was attending Awareness Day at the Medical School on March 6, when his Toyota Yaris was stolen from a parking bay on York Road.

“I walked out to go home. I was in disbelief as I approached the space where I had parked not to find my car there. At that point I knew that it had been stolen,” said the 25-year-old.

Toni Batty, a fourth-year BNurs student, said that she wished someone had warned her about the severity of crime in the area.

“Parking my car outside gives me anxiety, not only for the risk of car theft or smash-and-grabs, but also for my own safety, walking to and from my car before and after class,” Batty added.
Director of Family Medicine Dr Richard Cooke said that he was mugged in the area last year and that had made him more cautious.

“I am very vigilant now. I’m always a bit nervous walking up that hill. My main concern is not for individuals like myself, to be frank. I am concerned for smaller and, more predominantly, female students.”
Wits security staff have advised that people should avoid using cellphones in the street, that they walk in groups, and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight in parked cars.

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Wits announces revised health sciences admissions policy increasing access for previously disadvantaged students

The faculty of health sciences at Wits University has released a statement outlining a revised admissions policy which will take effect from 2015.

It is not clear whether the new policy will affect students who have already submitted their applications to study next year.

The revisions are based on recommendations made by a task team consisting of deputy vice-chancellor (academic) Prof Andrew Crouch and deputy vice-chancellor (research) Prof Zeblon Vilakazi. 

Previously, only 25% of top performing candidates were accepted and this has been increased to 40%. The remaining 60% of places will be allocated to different categories of previously disadvantaged students.

 Key new points from the policy include:

  • 40% of places will be allocated to top performing candidates based on academic merit
  • The remaining 60% will be split as follows:
  • 20% of places will be offered to top performing rural learners
  • 20% of places will be allocated to top performing learners from quintile 1 and 2 schools
  • Approximately 20% of places will be allocated to top performing African and Coloured learners

 

Read the full statement below:

REVISED HEALTH SCIENCES ADMISSIONS POLICY
Wits University has revised its admissions policy for all programmes offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences. This follows the recommendations of a task team commissioned by the Vice-Chancellor.

Applicants who are currently applying for entrance in 2015 will not be required to complete a Biographical Questionnaire (BQ). Their matric results will carry a 50% weighting and the results of their National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) will make up the other 50%. This weighting may change for 2016 entry with the introduction of an online BQ.

Selection will be made according to the following broad categories: 40% of the places will be offered to the top performing candidates based on academic merit. The remaining 60% will be offered as follows: approximately 20% of the places will be offered to top performing rural learners; approximately 20% of the places will be offered to top performing learners from quintile 1 and 2 schools; and approximately 20% of the places will be allocated to top performing African and Coloured learners.

Background

The new admissions policy is based on recommendations by a Wits University task team, consisting of members of the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Student Representative Council, other Faculties and the Senior Executive Team, that was commissioned to review the admissions policy for the MBBCh, or medicine, degree. The activities of the task team included a public meeting that was held in April 2014 to discuss the current and future admissions criteria and policies for entry into the degree. Wits University is committed to being a demographically diverse and cosmopolitan world class institution furthering the Constitutional vision of a democratic and non-racial South Africa. We will continue to research and review admissions policies in line with the realisation of this goal.

 

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