Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) students were allegedly attack by armed assailants on Monday, 20 June 2016.
PORT ELIZABETH – After three weeks of a complete shutdown amidst student protests and the call for free tertiary education, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University will re-open its doors on Friday.
NMMU spokesperson Zandile Mbabela said that while engagements were ongoing, university operations and lectures needed to re-start as to ensure that the 2016 academic year could be completed.
“Having done a thorough assessment of the situation with faculties this week, it has become clear that starting academic activities on Monday will ensure that we can still complete the academic year by 30 November 2016. Extending the shutdown beyond this point will negatively impact the academic performance of students and put at risk the ability to complete their studies,” Mbabela said on Thursday.
“All faculties are in the process of devising academic recovery plans which will be finalised in consultation with students in their respective faculties. Academic activities affected by the shutdown will be rescheduled, while affording students sufficient time to meet their specific requirements.”
She said that NMMU supported the call to widen access to quality higher education for academically deserving, financially needy students, adding that every opportunity to engage with students and various stakeholders to resolve the deadlock relating to the #FeesMustFall demands had been explored.
Mbabela said that the university remained committed to exploring all possible avenues to ensure that no academically deserving students were excluded from continuing their studies based on financial grounds.
“To this end, students are urged to participate in the multi-stakeholder Financial Aid Task Team, established specially to work on this particular issue,” she said.
The protests that have taken place at various universities in South Africa, started more than two weeks ago after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that state universities could hike next year’s fees, capped at eight percent. Students across the country are demanding free education.