UCT could close for the year if protests continue - Max Price

2016-09-28 16:09
Max Price (Paul Herman, News24)

Max Price (Paul Herman, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The University of Cape Town may have to close for the year if ongoing Fees Must Fall protests last longer than three weeks, Vice Chancellor Max Price said on Wednesday.

The academic year could still be completed if classes resumed on October 3, but it would be disastrous if classes remained suspended beyond that, he told reporters.

"We've made a plan so that if we only start on Monday, everything would have been pushed two weeks later, but we can still finish the year.

"The key problem is we will not have graduation ceremonies this year. Those will take place in June 2017."

If the shutdown continued a week beyond October 3, teaching and writing of exams would have to be done on weekends and during the December holidays.

"And if it goes a month, we cannot complete the programme this year, and we may have to shut down for the rest of the year."

The university is currently in its second week of suspended classes.

'It's new territory'

This was the worst case scenario, and the university was "not there yet", he said. Theoretically, the university would then finish the 2016 year in the first semester of 2017.

"It's never been done. It's new territory. The logical thing to do would be to then start the new intake of students as soon as the older students finish, perhaps in April."

Price was still hopeful that the academic year could be completed. Students would not be expected to pay extra to complete the year.

- Earlier today: UCT closes campus after staff 'traumatised'

The university would not be the only institution affected by the delay in the academic programme, he said.

UCT provided 400 of the 2 400 health sciences graduates countrywide each year.

"The health service is absolutely dependent on these junior doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists etc. The interns of the previous year will have left.

"There'll be a serious risk of a public health services collapse if those graduates cannot start on January 1."

Vice chancellors to meet

Students that needed to sit for independent examinations, such as accountants and lawyers, would not be able to complete their qualification in time to start working, paying off loans, and supporting their families.

"The ones who suffer most are the ones from the lowest-income families. Students from high-income families can survive for a few more months. They can live at home.

"It's the students who are indebted and have job promises who will suffer most if we do not finish at the end of the year."

Price would meet other vice chancellors this week to discuss the issue.

He hoped to speak Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande after a university memorandum was handed to the department outside Parliament on Friday.

Read more on:    uct  |  max price  |  cape town  |  university fees  |  university protests

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.