Select university students will get travel permits to return to campus
Cape Town - Universities are expected to issue returning students with travel permits as they plan for their reopening on level 3, starting today.
Stellenbosch University Rector and vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers said that as part of the controlled resumption of campus activities institutions may allow a maximum of 33% of the student body to return to campuses under level 3, subject to strict compliance with national regulations.
De Villiers said that would apply to very specific groups of students, mostly those in their final year of undergraduate study or postgraduate students who required clinical training, laboratory practical sessions and specialised equipment to complete the academic year successfully. He said no students should return to campuses, including residences, before being specifically informed to do so.
“Based on the regulations, students who may return will be informed by their respective faculties.”
De Villiers said that with level 3 starting today, their campuses would need time to prepare to ensure staff and students could return safely.
“Under level 3 the university has to issue returning students with travel permits. The first and second examination opportunities as scheduled for June and July will all remain online assessments as per our prior communication,” he said.
De Villiers added that some students may want to collect books and academic materials from their residences. He said a once-off access would be allowed by prior arrangement only with the residence head.
UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said the university had developed a framework for the safe return of staff and students in a co-ordinated and phased manner.
“Students will receive an offer to return to residence. Accommodation in residence will be based on the number of students the university can safely accommodate under strict Covid-19 regulations. Students will be required to quarantine on arrival and to practise strict social distancing.”
In his address over the weekend, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that with students returning to institutions of learning, long-distance public transport crossing provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries would be permitted to operate.
SA Students’ Congress national deputy president Buyile Matiwane said: “We are not sufficiently satisfied that there is enough consideration to the polarising effect of a staggered or phased approach for those students that we know to be the missing middle.”@SISONKE_MD