DURBAN - THE Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) on Monday issued a statement which validated the success of its online applications.
“Registration for both new and returning students is going on smoothly at the university,” said MUT spokesperson Mbali Mkhize.
“So far we have registered more than 7 244 students online,” said Zoliswa Gqamane, deputy registrar: Academic Administration. According to Gqamane, all registration stations were working.
Mkhize also said both MUT uMlazi campuses were open.
The campuses were shut down because MUT staff had gone on protest from April 1, demanding, among other things, salary increments.
MUT students joined the protests because of their issues with registration. They demanded that the institution erase historic debt so that returning students could register. The university and the Student Representative Council settled the issues.
Meanwhile, the Chairpersons of Councils of Public Universities held a virtual meeting with 10 South African universities earlier this month including the University of the Free State, University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University.
“The aim was to explore how to contribute solutions to issues affecting the public university sector in South Africa, particularly those that manifest in student action that disrupts academic activities at universities,” read the Councils’ statement.
The issues they agreed that needed attention from various stakeholders were financial sustainability; policy certainty and stability in the face of reducing fiscal support; student demands including the cancellation of student debts; the role of the Portfolio Committee in assisting the sector to flourish; impact of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on university operations; student activism on campuses; and student advocacy.
“Universities are autonomous and have unique histories and legacies, including resource endowments, (but) there are issues of common interest that would be best addressed through their collective effort,” read the statement.
The universities agreed on the need to re-establish a formal structure that would be the voice of councils of universities for common issues and of shared interests in the sector.
The meeting set about involving all public universities in the planning and execution of the formal structure.
“An interim convenorship and secretariat has been agreed to take care of the reformalisation of the structure and seeing through the necessary interactions and co-ordinating with stakeholders where immediate issues have to be addressed,” read the statement.
The governing bodies would be responsible for generally overseeing universities.
“This act includes an oversight in the implementation of the Department of Higher Education and Training policies where university councils are acknowledged as being not only the highest decision-making organs in universities, but as essential cogs and enablers in seeking effective solutions to problems that affect their universities.
“It is for this reason that their voices need to be heard when solutions are being crafted, and where appropriate, their participation and collaboration becomes essential,” read the statement.