#FeesMustFall movement a 'wake up call' - Jonathan Jansen

2015-11-05 17:29
Jonathan Jansen (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Jonathan Jansen (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The #FeesMustFall movement was a "wake up call" about "unresolved inequalities" in society, University of the Free State (UFS) vice chancellor, Professor Jonathan Jansen, on Thursday.

Jansen, speaking at the Cape Town Club on the recent student protests and the future of tertiary institutions, highlighted the protests were never simply just about fees.

- Read more: We will find money for varsity fees shortfall - Radebe

He also said the protests furthermore differed between predominantly English, Afrikaans and black universities.

"At universities like [University of Cape Town] and [University of Witwatersrand], there are deep set concerns about transformation. A lot of it is intangible.

"You need to go on to the UCT campus [to experience it]. If you are not white and English, you have no idea how incredibly trapped you are in that campus. There is a repressiveness that you can’t put your finger on."

Afrikaans institutions, he said, had a different problem.

"A university like Stellenbosch still struggles with the first order – getting black African students through the gates," he said.

"But at black universities like the Tshwane University of Technology and [University of KwaZulu-Natal], the issue is basic survival. It’s money. They need to make it through the day."

- Read more: R19.7bn needed for university subsidies - Nzimande

#FeesMustFall focused on the "exclusionary costs of higher education", the one issue binding all students.

"It was about the very structure of our society. As long as you have a Bishop Lavis in a short drive from your Bishopscourt, this country will continue to have black and white raising their concerns in the way they have."

Jansen said at the core of the #FeesMustFall movement was a "concern about inequality and access to higher education ... a lack of transformation in institutions".

"That you must take seriously - it is a massive wake up call," he said.

Read more on:    ufs  |  jonathan jansen  |  cape town  |  education  |  university fees  |  protests

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