Classes at UFS suspended

2016-09-21 06:00
MEDICAL students who were writing a test during a heated altercation with a member of a student organisation which disrupted the classes on Monday (19/09) at the University of the Free State (UFS). Photo: Mlungisi Louw

MEDICAL students who were writing a test during a heated altercation with a member of a student organisation which disrupted the classes on Monday (19/09) at the University of the Free State (UFS). Photo: Mlungisi Louw

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THE University of the Free State (UFS) has temporarily suspended administrative and academic services at the two campuses in Bloemfontein.

The decision to suspend services followed a potentially violent protest by students’ organisations that are against the announcement by the minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande.

Nzimande announced that universities could increase tuition fees by not more than 8% for 2017.

He announced this on Monday (19/09) and this was met with outrage by students’ organisations that went on the rampage, causing disruptions at campuses.

At the UFS, students writing tests for the third quarter were forced to discontinue writing by protesting aggrieved groups of students’ movements which included the Students Representative Council (SRC).

The UFS management announced that no academic and administrative services will be available and no lectures or tests will take place.

This decision was made due to the protest by students who are against the announcement that universities could increase study fees for 2017.

“After much consideration, the senior leadership of the UFS decided to close the Bloemfontein and the South Campuses on Tuesday 20 September 2016,” said the university in a statement.

The management stated that the decision comes after all academic activities were suspended on Monday afternoon.

This was done due to a growing unease on campus and the disruption of some academic activities by groups.

While the two campuses in Bloemfontein were closed, it was business as usual at the UFS Qwaqwa campus.

The UFS management stated that the closing of the campuses will afford an opportunity to the senior leadership to further engage with the SRC on the matter of an increase in tuition for 2017.

On Tuesday (20/09) by 13:00, the UFS SRC leadership was expected to make an announcement regarding an increase in tuition, apparently after meeting with the UFS management.

A group of students, belonging to organisations, were spotted gathering at the gate of the UFS main campus ahead of the eagerly-awaited announcement on Tuesday.

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