Student recruitment under strict COVID-19 protocols

Ayanda Bulose, middle, with learners

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an immediate mind-shift in all sectors. MUT has not been spared.  In order to keep the new applications coming through for the MUT class of 2021, the student recruitment team at Marcomms has had to brace themselves for more strategic ways of getting the job done.  To a large extent, student recruitment has shifted to online platforms and the MUT team has been employing a range of integrated marketing communications activities; taking student recruitment to platforms such as Facebook Live, WhatsApp channel, and email.  The demand of the new normal has laid bare the challenges of learners in rural schools. Most of these leaners do not have access and the means to access online communication.

“Our statistics show that MUT enjoys a big supply of quality students from schools in far-flung areas like kwaHlabisa, Nquthu, Vryheid, Newcastle and other deep rural areas.  We had to literally go straight to the eye of the storm in search of these learners.  Since the country moved to Lockdown Level 1, we have visited more than 300 deep rural schools to recruit students.   In doing this, we never let our guard down because we are fully aware that COVID-19 is still with us.  We take extra precautions like making sure that we constantly sanitise our hands, wear masks and shields and if necessary we quarantine ourselves after attending student recruitment events where we interacted with large crowds,” said Ayanda Bulose, Schools Liaison Officer at Marcomms.

This week the team has dedicated more time visiting Umlazi schools to assist learners with applications for admission as well as assisting with NSFAS applications.  Later in the week the team will be at KwaHlabisa providing a similar service to learners in that area as well.  The extension of the closing date for applications to 30 November 2020 has provided an opportunity for MUT to intensify student recruitment targeting diverse learners across all quintiles.

It has been a very stressful time for matric learners and educators. The visits by the MUT student recruitment team has received very positive feedback and has been applauded as giving learners hope to look forward to their first year at tertiary next year.