Wits University calls meeting, urges SRC to engage

2016-09-27 22:59
Wits University was brought a standstill this week after the announcement of an increase in tuition fees for the 2016 study year. Students at the university were protesting against the fee hikes and boycotted classes. Picture: ELIZABETH SEJAKE

Wits University was brought a standstill this week after the announcement of an increase in tuition fees for the 2016 study year. Students at the university were protesting against the fee hikes and boycotted classes. Picture: ELIZABETH SEJAKE

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Johannesburg - Wits University management has called for a formal meeting with the student representative council (SRC) to resolve ongoing student protests which erupted last week at the institution.

"The senior executive team has once again reached out to the SRC and invited them to a formal meeting to determine if we can find a way to engage on the current situation at the university. The SRC has not yet responded to this request," its spokesperson Shirona Patel said in a statement. 

Patel said vice chancellor Adam Habib and the executive management team were engaging with all stakeholders in an attempt to find viable options.

The university announced that it would run an electronic poll on Thursday using text messages (SMSs) for students and via a website link for staff.

"The poll will open at 07:00 and close at 16:00. It will be anonymous and the data will feed straight into a database."

Patel said the institution requested the help of the IEC to oversee the process to ensure that the results can be independently verified.  

"We have determined that we have about 99% of students' mobile numbers and we are working on obtaining the missing mobile numbers (we are missing less than 260 out of 37 000). We encourage all students to double check their details on the self-service as described below."

Students started protests over free education after Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced he would cap university fee increments at 8%. 

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