Order returns to university campuses
UNIVERSITIES in the Western Cape resumed normal activities following weeks of # FeesMustFall protests on campuses which in some instances were accompanied by damage to property, incidents of police brutality, arrests and court interdicts.
Exams were moved and graduation ceremonies affected, but the effort was not wasted as universities signed agreements with their students marking major concessions from both parties.
This week saw the signing of an agreement between the University of the Western Cape management, the Fees Must Fall movement and the SRC.
UWC was a hotbed in recent weeks, with serious clashes between students and police, especially after the announcement of no fee increase for next year by President Jacob Zuma last month.
Free university education, scrapping of historic student debt, waiving of initial or registration payment, and the end of outsourcing of essential services were among universal demands of students on various campuses, with some campus-specific issues raised.
At UWC, exams are sched- uled to begin on Monday, spokesman Luthando Thyalibongo said. Upfront payment for indigent students, recipients of the National Students Financial Aid Scheme funding and bursary students has been waived for next year, while registration fees for other students will remain the same as this year’s fee, at R4 290.
On outsourcing, the university was mking a feasibility study to determine whether direct employment could be a viable option, Thyalibongo said.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology spokeswoman Lauren Kansley said exams would begin on Monday, continuing until the end of the month. A minimum amount of R745 would be expected of students when they register next year. “It usually forms part of an amount of R3 500 which is an upfront payment towards studies.
The registration fee will still be payable, but not on registration at the beginning of the year. Instead, it will be debited to their accounts,” Kansley said.
CPUT was also investigating the feasibility of ending outsourcing. “There are a few ongoing investigations with regards to this which include participation of our unions, SRC and management. In principle however, we have agreed to assist the children of our outsourced workers to have greater access to bursaries and studies at our institution.”
UCT spokesman Azwi Mufamadi said exams were scheduled to begin on Monday for students in health sciences, and on Tuesday for the rest of the undergraduate programmes, continuing until November 27.
He said an initial fee would still be charged to students next year.
“UCT allows students to register if the initial payment has not been received by the due date. This payment is due by February 6. The balance of the fees is due by June 30.”
For South African citizens and permanent residents, the initial payment for tuition was R21 500 (or full fee where this was lower than the initial payment). The initial payment for catering residence was R25 500, and R16 500 for selfcatering residence (or full fee where this was lower than initial payment).
“UCT confirms there will be a 0 percent increase in fees (tuition and housing) for 2016 for all students from the African continent,” Mufamadi said.
At Stellenbosch University, exams began on Tuesday and would continue until November 25, spokesman Martin Viljoen said. The second opportunity exams would be written from November 26 to December 12.
He said students would be expected to pay an initial fee on registration next year. On outsourcing, the university would appoint a representative task group to investigate outsourced services at the institution.
“The role of the task group would be to ensure a register of outsourced services is kept, to determine whether outsourced services are managed in accordance with university policies and practices and to report to the rector’s management team and the audit and risk committee of council.
“The task group will also investigate viable alternative to outsourcing,” Viljoen said.
All universities confirmed there would be no fee increases next year.
STREET SMART: University students protest outside Parliament last month after a march against university fee increases.
STATE OF PLAY: Free university education, no fee increases next year and the scrapping of outsourcing of essential services were some of the universal demands of the #FeesMustFall movement that swept university campuses in recent months. Some targets were attained; other issues are under discussion. Western Cape universities reached some notable agreements, as is evident from this graphic.