Students demand admission at Unisa

PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaUnisa students wait outside the campus gate on Monday.
PHOTO: lethiwe makhanyaUnisa students wait outside the campus gate on Monday.

THE student registration process was interrupted at the University of South Africa (Unisa) Pietermaritzburg campus on Monday and Tuesday as new and existing students demanded that the university provide answers as to why their applications were rejected.

KwaZulu-Natal secretary of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at Unisa Andile Ndaba said they are concerned about the way the campus is treating students.

He said there are returning students who were completing bridging courses last year but this year they were told there is no space for them to study further.

“If they are saying there is no space, where are the students supposed to go? They knew about these students last year but they are only telling them now that their applications are rejected.

“Other students got 50% and 60% in their examinations last year but they were told that they had failed — 50% of the students received incorrect results. We tried to engage with the management last Wednesday and we submitted a memorandum but we were told to wait for the weekend so that they could get a chance to look into our problems but even today [Monday} we have not received a response from them.

“Last Wednesday we closed the gates but allowed the registrations to continue on Friday and Saturday because we were promised answers but it never happened. This has now a national shutdown because we see that Unisa management is not taking us seriously. We want answers from management regarding these issues.,” he said.

Ndaba said they are also having a problem with the National Students Financial Aid System (NSFAS) as there are students who did not receive their 2018 results because NSFAS did not complete paying their fees.

When Echo visited the campus on Monday, the gate was locked and no one was moving in or out the campus grounds while hundreds of students stood outside the gate with the hope that they would get in to register.

Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela told The Witness that the meeting at head office did not go as the university had hoped as the parties could not reach an agreement on the issues that were raised by the students.

“At this point we don’t know what head office is planning to do because it is their decision at the end of the day,” he said.

He said students were urged to register online while the university waited for further communication from the SRC.

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