UCT students have been forced to sit on stairs and to stand at the back of overcrowded lecture halls. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency
UCT students have been forced to sit on stairs and to stand at the back of overcrowded lecture halls. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency

UCT is addressing overcrowding, says vice-chancellor

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Feb 18, 2020

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Cape Town - UCT students have been forced to sit on stairs and to stand at the back of overcrowded lecture halls.

After the Mathematics 1 (MAM1000W) lecture, students complained to their lecturer about the overcrowding.

The lecturer wrote to the students and encouraged them to tweet their complaints to the vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng at @FabAcademic.

Phakeng took to the social network and apologised for the overcrowding, and said: “Dear students, due to the high demand for the opportunity to study at UCT we’ve enrolled more students than some of our lecture rooms can accommodate. We’re sorry that you have to deal with this. We note your concerns about overcrowding and are attending to it. Thanks for your patience.”

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said the university had noted and was addressing the issue.

Moholola said the issue had only affected two or three courses and said it was not unusual for the university to have a few lecture halls being too full during the first week or two of lectures.

“This is because initial lecture hall allocations are done on the basis of projected number of students per course. The exact final number of students per course can only be confirmed after the first week,” Moholola said.

He said lectures got under way on Monday last week and students had until Friday, February 14, to confirm or change courses.

“Upon the conclusion of this process, the university would then have exact numbers for each class and, where necessary, reallocate lecture halls,” Moholola said.

UCT’s DA Students Organisation (Daso) chairperson Luke Albert said: “Daso believes that seeing that the university has already committed itself to accommodating the students even when optimal capacity has been surpassed, arrangements in terms of finding bigger venues need to occur.”

UCT student representative council (SRC) chairperson Akha Tutu said the matter of lecture hall overcrowding was not new to the university. Tutu said there was a lack of venues at the university and the SRC would take it up with the university.

@SISONKE_MD

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Cape Argus

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