A statue covered in graffiti outside Howard College campus is a reminder of the 2016 Fees Must Fall movement. Students this week have embarked on a #NationalShutdown of the country’s universities. Photo by African News Agency (ANA).
A statue covered in graffiti outside Howard College campus is a reminder of the 2016 Fees Must Fall movement. Students this week have embarked on a #NationalShutdown of the country’s universities. Photo by African News Agency (ANA).

UKZN suspends classes for a week amid national shutdown of university’s

By Lee Rondganger Time of article published Mar 15, 2021

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Durban - As the country braces for planned shutdown of the all the universities by students fighting for free education, the University of KwaZulu-Natal has announced that it was suspending its academic programme for the rest of the week.

After a week of protests, the SA Student Union called for a national shutdown of all 26 institutions of higher learning with immediate effect on Monday until the funding, historical debt and other issues are completely dealt with.

In a statement on Monday morning, Normah Zondo the spokesperson for UKZN said: “After thoughtful consideration of the ongoing dialogue between national government and the various bodies representing student formations in South Africa, we have decided to suspend the academic programme for the coming week, that is, from Monday 15 March until Friday 19 March 2021, both dates inclusive.

“Remote online registration for 2021 will, however, continue for all returning students and first-entry undergraduates.

“University management will inform staff and students on the dates for re-commencement of the semester”.

At the weekend the SA Student Union met with Student Representative Councils (SRCs) across the country along with Higher Education and Training Department and National Student Financial Aid Scheme representatives

According to student leaders, out of 15 matters submitted to the department, none received a positive response leading to a collective decision by student leaders to shutdown all universities.

Among the demands students leaders have put forward is the clearance of historical debt, that all arrested students and suspended students be exonerated, appeals to be addressed, allowances to be distributed timeously and the immediate provision of post-graduate funding.

They also want advanced diploma qualifications to be included in the funding framework.

IOL

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