Clemency, the removal of private security, an extended exam period and a funding policy. These are some of the issues agreed at the University of Cape Town last night in an attempt to move on from the protest action, violence and interruptions to the school year that has plagued universities across the country.
During the late hours of Sunday night, an agreement was reached between student representative council members, ShackvilleTRC and other student organisations with the executive of the University of Cape Town.
The university, which has been experiencing a series of protest action from the students throughout the year in aid of the #FeesMustFall movement, believes that common ground can be reached to move the university forward in the “best interests of all the constituencies”.
The university agreement states the following:
“The 2015 academic year was put into jeopardy and there are concerns that the 2016 academic year will also be compromised. The executive and students have been in ongoing negotiations to find a way forward.”
These negotiations have resulted in an agreement which has been signed by the UCT executive including vice-chancellor Max Price and student representative council candidates. The agreement outlines several frameworks with which to work, in order to ensure that the university can continue with the scheduled exams and that the 2016 academic year can be completed.
• Clemency being granted to students involved in the protests who have been subject to disciplinary hearings;
• The establishment of a Shackville Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by skilled external facilitators;
• A coherent policy on funding higher education and advocacy for free decolonised education;
• A commitment by the executive to allow students who are on financial aid and/or eligible for financial aid who are academically eligible to graduate but unable to do so due to affordability will be allowed to;
• Exams to continue in order for the academic year to be completed by allowing students the option to either write in November or in January 2017;
• Plans to be put in place for the use of residences, food and transport arrangements so that students who write the deferred exams in January are not faced with financial woes,
• That the executive is open to removing private security from campus once an agreement is reached by a council-approved committee jointly with the Institutional Forum;
• The establishment of a rapid response task team made up of both representatives from the executive and of the student formations to monitor the implementation of the agreement and remove any obstacles which may impede it are removed.
Click here to read the agreement.