The mother of a prospective student has died in a stampede of applicants at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Hundreds of students and parents were waiting for the university to open and allow them to enrol. When the doors opened the crowd surged forward. Nineteen people were injured in the crush two of them are in critical condition.

Fierce competition for higher education means that more than 180,000 high school graduates are expected to fail to get into the nine top universities in South Africa, according to the Times.

A university spokesman confirmed the death, although the identity of the deceased has not been confirmed.

A Johannesburg tweeted: "The stampede is a sad reminder of the legacy of unequal education in SA: chaos, limited opportunities and hunger for learning."