Academic financial exclusions 'must end'
Cape Town - No university should exclude academically deserving students on financial grounds, the National Assembly's higher education and training committee said on Thursday.
Otherwise, the denial of education to children from historically disadvantaged families would be perpetuated, committee chairperson Ishmael Malale said.
"Our committee maintains zero tolerance on financial exclusions."
The committee visited the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's (CPUT) Bellville campus after January registrations were disrupted by protesting students due to disagreements on 2012 fee increments.
Malale said it emerged during a meeting with CPUT management and student leadership that the university council took a decision on November 26, 2011 to increase 2012 tuition and residence fees, despite the objection of student leadership.
According to management, student leadership argued for zero percent increases on both tuition and residence fees.
The committee noted there had been discussions on fee increments between the university management and student leadership, but no "meaningful engagements".
The committee reiterated its unhappiness over mass action that included burning tyres and financial exclusions.
"Please eliminate protests, engage each other meaningfully, and call the department of higher education and training when there is deadlock; this university is a public institution," Malale said.
He urged CPUT's management to ensure students were part of the financial exclusions committee due to meet on Thursday. He appealed to the management for the cancellation of court interdicts against students.