SA universities assist Zim students during coup uncertainty

2017-11-17 20:49
The University of Cape Town's Jameson Hall. (James de Villiers/News24)

The University of Cape Town's Jameson Hall. (James de Villiers/News24)

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Cape Town - South African tertiary institutions are making arrangements to assist Zimbabwean students who may be affected by ongoing political uncertainty in their home country.

Rhodes University in Grahamstown has offered extended stays for students who wish to remain in South Africa until the situation has stabilised, communications manager Veliswa Mhlophe said.

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''If a student requires an extended stay in residence, they are urged to consult their respective wardens and sign a late departure form," said Mhlophe.

"Students living outside of residences will be allowed to stay in residences if their leases have ended. They can apply for accommodation through the conferencing office," she added.

The university is also offering free communication facilities for Zimbabwean students at the Students Representative Council (SRC) offices so that they can contact their families.

The SRC’s international councillor should be contacted for assistance if necessary. Students can also visit the SRC offices at the Steve Biko Building at Rhodes University.

"The deputy vice chancellor, Dr Chrissy Boughey and the SRC are monitoring the Zimbabwean situation closely and daily," Mhlophe said.

In Cape Town, UCT has been consulting with Zimbabwean students through the Student Representative Council (SRC) and relevant student societies to find out what kind of support they need, spokesperson Elijah Moholola said. 

So far, accommodation has been provided until the end of the exams.

However, students’ needs will be assessed individually if necessary.

UCT is offering appointments at its Student Wellness Services.

The International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) is also offering face-to-face support.

Meanwhile, students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology have responded well to the developments in Zimbabwe, spokesperson Lauren Kansley said.

"No one has approached our international office with concerns," she said.

"In fact, the majority of those students are eager to get home,” she added.

She welcomed students with concerns to approach the institution with a request for accommodation, if necessary.

At the time of publishing, talks were still under way in Zimbabwe to resolve what appeared to be a coup.

Read more on:    zimbababwe  |  southern africa

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