UFS supports free education for the poor - acting vice chancellor

2016-09-27 22:01
Protesting UFS students (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Protesting UFS students (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – The University of the Free State's acting vice chancellor, Professor Nicky Morgan, told a group of protesting students on Tuesday that the institution supports free education for the poor.

Morgan was responding to a memorandum which included the demand for no fee increases in 2017 at the institution, no de-registration of students, and for the academic calendar to be extended due to the protest. The memorandum was handed to him on Monday.

Morgan said the university also supported students who protested peacefully.

"The conduct of protesting students this past week has not warranted any action from the university as it was peaceful and it did not spill over into any public spaces, unlike the protest action in October 2015," he said.

He vowed to work with student leadership and faculties when the forth term started on October 10 to reorganise the academic programme to make up for the lost time.

He added that there would be ongoing learning support and guidance throughout the recess to keep students up to date with academic work.

Police keeping a close watch

In an effort to halt financial exclusions in the current period as a result of student debt and to fund outstanding residential fees, Morgan said the university would have to approach the Department of Higher Education and Training.

On Tuesday morning, police were monitoring the situation at the university as classes remained suspended.

Hundreds of students protested at the university's main campus, while police kept a close watch.

The university had been expected to resume its normal activities on Tuesday.

However, university management suspended academic activities due to the protests.

"We have sent out SMSes to students that we will give them an update later in the day, but classes have been suspended," said university spokesperson Lacea Loader.

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