Wits suspends 10.5% fee hike
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Johannesburg - The University of the Witwatersrand has suspended its proposed 10.5 percent increase in student fees for next year and signed an agreement with students for new negotiations in this regard, the university said on Saturday.
“Following an intense and protracted engagement between protesting students and members of the executive committee of council, it was agreed that the university will suspend the decision on all fee increments made for 2016. There will be no fee increments until negotiations reach an agreement,” Wits said in a statement on its official website.
“The negotiations pertaining to fee increments will resume anew. In the eventuality of negotiations breaking down, the university will not revert to its initial decision. A new framework for negotiations will be jointly agreed upon in which any final decision of council on this matter will be presented to a university assembly.
“There will be no disciplinary action taken against students or workers who participated in the protest, and no worker will face dismissal as a result of their participation in the protest. The exco of council will advance the position of the students for a no-fee increase at council,” it said.
The university would officially be closed on Monday to allow the council to report to a university assembly. This included the suspension of all university activities, including lectures, examinations, assessments, and practicals, and would affect all students and staff on all campuses, including the medical school and affiliated hospitals.
The agreement was signed by the chair of the Wits Council Dr Randall Carolissen and outgoing Students’ Representative Council president Shaeera Kalla.
“A full council meeting will be called tomorrow, Sunday, 18 October 2015 to deliberate on these matters. Council will report to students at noon on Monday, 19 October 2015,” the university said.
Wits students have been protesting against the 10.5 percent hike for three days and lectures were suspended.
African News Agency
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