Or­der re­turns to univer­sity cam­puses

Ex­am­i­na­tions resched­uled

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOLOY­ISO MTEMBU

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.

PIC­TURE: IAN LANDSBERG

STREET SMART: Univer­sity stu­dents protest out­side Par­lia­ment last month af­ter a march against univer­sity fee in­creases.

GRAPHIC: RYAN MENTO

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.

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