Calm restored on Unisa campuses
THE impasse between students and management at Unisa campuses countrywide has finally been resolved, bringing to an end a week of disruptions, with operations due back on track today.
The Student Representative Council and the institution signed an agreement on Saturday that saw a student strike called off immediately and a promise by the institution that normality would return today.
The breakthrough was made by the parties during negotiations within the university; as well as constructive engagement with the Department of Higher Education and Training, focusing on the registration challenges at Unisa, which included accreditation, enrolment planning, provision of laptops and other matters.
All campuses were disrupted last week, that saw their registration suspended.
Unisa said yesterday the university and the SRC had concluded and signed an agreement following robust meetings which began on Tuesday.
University spokesperson Martin Ramotshela said: “The university decided to approach the court to obtain an interdict in order to ensure that it brings to an end the disruptive effect of the student strike on its operations, including denying staff and students access to the premises of the university for the purpose of work and/or receiving services on registration and related matters.”
Among some of the issues raised by students were the lack of admission of prospective students looking to study further.
Wadzanani Mazhetese, Unisa national SRC president, said many students had been crying following the exclusion of approximately 120 000, something he said made them feel rejected.
Regarding accreditation of courses, Ramotshela admitted an error was made by the university in loading certain courses before they were accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
To date, he said, following engagement with the department, a commitment had been made to facilitate a meeting with SAQA, the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the university management.
Higher Education and Training Minister., Naledi Pandor welcomed the successful conclusion of an agreement between the parties.
She said she was pleased that administrative and academic activities were set to resume and thanked the management, student representatives and the officials of her department for their efforts.