Concerns as UFS set to start exams

2016-11-23 18:47
The University of the Free State (Andre Damons, Netwerk24)

The University of the Free State (Andre Damons, Netwerk24)

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Bloemfontein - Security measures are in place and contingency plans have been made at the University of the Free State (UFS) to ensure students can start writing exams on Thursday.

"The university is co-operating with the police. There are police on the campus every day, while a private security company and the university’s security services are helping secure the university," spokesperson Lacea Loader told Netwerk24.

"Admission to the campus and exam locations will be strictly controlled."

There are, however, concerns among lecturers, students and their parents about the exams following the Fees Must Fall protests.

Tearful students were apparently turning up at their lecturers’ doorsteps because of the pressure on them.

Some students and lecturers have had to cancel holidays and holiday work overseas because the exams will run well into December.

Early start

READ: UFS calm as education suspended after protests

Netwerk24 has heard of students who have already started writing exams in conference facilities at Maselspoort, at old age homes, and in church halls.

Some students had apparently only been informed by SMS at 07:00 on the morning of the exams that they would be writing at Maselspoort.

They were given food after writing the exams.

Loader said it was not a general arrangement that students had to write exams 20km outside Bloemfontein. In some faculties, like health and law, students had been writing exams and tests for some time now.

"Because of the nature of some programmes at the university, some students can’t write their exams online. That is why they will start writing exams on campus from Thursday."

Some lecturers are concerned that academic standards will drop if work was done online.

Loader said the fact that most of the students had to complete the rest of their work online would not mean a drop in standards.

"The UFS gave support and guidance to students and lecturers to make sure this didn’t happen.”

A lecturer told Netwerk24 that there had been a breach of trust between him and his students.

Loader said it was an irresponsible comment.

"There are no grounds for this claim," she said.

Asked about student interest in studying at the UFS in 2017, she said: "The UFS has received more applications for admission than in 2015. The quality of applications has also improved."

Read more on:    ufs  |  bloemfontein  |  university fees  |  university protests

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