Habib urges students to prepare for exams, allow leaders to negotiate

2015-10-19 20:25
Adam Habib (Adam Areff, News24)

Adam Habib (Adam Areff, News24)

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Johannesburg - With only 12 days to go until the end-of-year exams, students should be focussing on that and allow their elected leaders to negotiate with university management on their behalf, says University of Witwatersrand Vice Chancellor Adam Habib.

"In 12 days we are meant to be writing exams. That is my biggest worry. Let's get the academic programme on track," Habib said.

He said the university's council had met at the weekend to discuss the options available after the institution announced that it would suspend its planned fee increases for the 2016 academic year.

The next step was to engage with student leadership and all other affected parties to figure out what the best plan of action would be going forward.

Such negotiations could not be held with thousands of angry students, Habib said.

"We have a number of options, but we can't negotiate such complex financial matters with thousands of people."

Habib said he had shown his willingness to engage with the students and hear their grievances. Now it was their turn to come to the party and take part in a proposed plan of action.

A task team had been appointed to look into fee increases at the institution, and management needed to engage with the student leadership before allowing the task team to begin looking into the matter.

Wits students expressed dissatisfaction over fee hikes and registration fees last week when management announced an increment of 10.5%. The announcement saw students blocking entrances to the institution, resulting in the suspension of academic activities.

The Wits protest is now in its sixth day and has sparked similar protests by students at the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University and Stellenbosch University.

Students at the University of Pretoria have also signalled their intention to protest the proposed fee increments for 2016.

Read more on:    wits university  |  adam habib  |  johannesburg  |  university fees

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