The start of the 2020 academic year has not been a smooth one for several institutions and students across the country. Learning has had to take the backseat as campuses were affected by protests resulting in clashes with police and security. Students say they're not getting the free education they were promised. Courtesy #DStv403
PRETORIA - Academic activities at the Tshwane University of Technology will resume on Wednesday.
This after students at the Pretoria West campus protested on Monday over a number of issues, including historic debt amounting to R10-billion, which they say, prevents them from receiving their academic records, NSFAS payments and their accommodation conditions.
Activities had to be suspended for two days, as management engaged with student leaders. Vice-chancellors are trying to develop a national approach to the issue of academic records. Universities South Africa says these ongoing protests are not surprising.
However, they believe there should be another solution to financing students.
“Every university has indicated it will provide students with either with a letter to say they’ve graduated," said Universities South Africa CEO Ahmed Bawa.
"Universities have got methods of addressing that at the moment and we’ve agreed at a meeting of the board which is made up of vice-chancellors that we will try and move towards a single system so that it’s common in the whole sector.
“I don’t think we can turn to NSFAS for a solution, I think this is a solution that has to come from government, working with the banking sector, working with universities to find a national solution.”
Meanwhile, NSFAS says it's attending to the debt incurred by students that they cover.
“We have now paid out R760-million in historic debt to different institutions,” said NSFAS Administrator Randall Carolissen.
With various solutions now being discussed, it seems the voices of the students have been heard.