Wits to hold poll on resumption of classes

2016-09-26 18:42


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Johannesburg - Wits University management will ask the IEC to oversee a poll of staff and students to determine if they want the academic programme to resume or not, it said in a statement on Monday.

"In order to facilitate as wide a response as possible to the current crisis, the university will run a poll later this week to gauge the thoughts of staff and students on the resumption of the academic programme on Monday, October 3rd, if the appropriate security measures are in place," spokesperson Shirona Patel said. 

The university had received hundreds of emails calling for the academic programme to resume.

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) would oversee the poll and verify the results independently.

If a majority supported the reopening, the university would call on government and police to protect the institution's property and to safeguard the lives of students and staff.

Patel said the iuniversity wanted a meeting between vice chancellors, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, Justice Minister Michael Masutha and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to discuss this.

"Wits' stability is important in the context of the broader higher education system. We cannot lose the academic year and we appeal to the university community and wider society to make your voices heard on this key issue of national importance that impacts on our collective futures."

Students on campuses around the country began protesting against Nzimande's announcement last Monday that universities could decide their own fee increases for 2017, up to a maximum of 8%. Poor students and those who come from households where the income is less than R600 000 a year would be exempt from paying the increase.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  univeristy fees

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