Unizulu denies expelling pregnant students
THE University of Zululand (Unizulu) denies allegations that pregnant students in their final trimester are expelled from the institution’s residences. This claim was raised during the Commission for Gender Equality’s (CGE) public hearings into gender transformation at institutions of higher learning last week.
CGE spokesperson Javu Baloyi said the commission first received this information from the university’s Student Representative Council (SRC) prior to the hearings.
‘This was again raised at the hearing and the university did not agree with nor deny the allegations.
‘The commission is however conducting an extensive investigation into this matter and will communicate findings once the investigation was completed,’ Baloyi said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the university confirmed that it was invited to deliver a presentation on its gender policy and how it is responding to challenges.
‘This took place on Thursday, 22 November. One of the issues raised was about allegations that the university had expelled pregnant students from residences in their final trimester of pregnancy,’ said Unizulu Communications and Marketing Director, Gcina Nhleko.
‘When this question was raised by a journalist afterwards, the university indicated that it would have to look into the allegations.’
Nontobeko Zulu of the SRC reiterated that no student had been expelled owing to pregnancy.
‘When students leave the residence because of their imminent due date, they are not disadvantaged because they can still access the academic and social services of the university.’
The institution said it is aware of the plight of female students and the status of women in general, and supports the progressive stance of the GCE for the attainment of gender balanced tertiary institutions.
‘The university also accommodates students who make special arrangements with regards to commitments in their academic programme.’