TUT and SRC sign agreement

By Drum Digital
24 February 2015

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) management and the central student representative council signed a formal agreement, following protests at the institution.

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) management and the central student representative council signed a formal agreement on Monday, following protests at the institution, the university said on Monday.

"TUT management and the Central Student Representative Council (CSRC)... signed a formal agreement which concludes the recent talks about student funding between the parties," spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said in a statement.

"It is believed that this will also bring an end to student protest that halted activities at various campuses the last weeks."

In terms of a memorandum of agreement, TUT management and the CSRC agreed on several issues, including outstanding student debt and issues surrounding the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Regarding outstanding debt, all students who had outstanding debt from previous years would have to pay a minimum of R1500 across the board towards outstanding debt, plus the minimum initial payment of R1500 to register in 2015.

Any remaining balances payable, together with the 2015 fees balance, would have to be settled by no later than October 30, 2015.

Students would also have to sign acknowledgement of debts for the remaining outstanding 2014 balances.

"This agreement will assist students to make payments towards their debt, while enabling them to register and continue with their studies," she said.

"This equates to approximately R37 [million] in assistance."

Regarding the around 226 final year B Tech students, they would now only have to pay the minimum initial payment of R1500, and make financial arrangements in relation to their historic debt.

"Roughly 471 final year National Diploma students will have to pay an initial payment of R1500, coupled with financial arrangements," De Ruyter said.

"This will provide approximately R7m in terms of assistance towards this critical constituency."

In terms of NSFAS funding, students who were funded by the NSFAS in 2014 and owed the university outstanding debt and had no NSFAS-funding in 2015, would be allowed to register with outstanding debt, on certain conditions.

"It was also agreed that funding set aside for academic merit bursaries be re-allocated to academically deserving and financially needy students in the NSFAS group," she said.

"This constitutes about R16m in financial assistance towards this group of students."

TUT vice-chancellor and principal Professor Lourens van Staden expressed the management team's gratitude to the CSRC for the positive spirit with which they assisted TUT to resolve "this national challenge" and to resume academic activities.

Protests started at the university's Soshanguve campuses and later spread to the Ga-Rankuwa, eMalahleni and Pretoria campuses.

Source : Sapa

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