Cape Town - The University of Cape Town will lose the academic term if its activities are disrupted when it opens on Monday, Vice Chancellor Max Price said on Saturday.
"Our situation is this: If classes start on Monday, 17 October 2016, we can still save the teaching term and write the exams between 7 and 25 November," he said in a statement.
"If we do not return on Monday, the academic term is lost and the consequences are absolutely dire. In other words, we are out of time."
UCT classes will resume next week to save the teaching term.
Price said faculties and departments would determine how to deliver the curriculum to students in alternative and mixed teaching modes.
Exam results were set to be released on December 23. The period of January 9 to 20 was allocated for deferred exams.
Price said that in order for students to complete their work and prepare for exams the libraries would be open and the Jammie shuttle would be operational.
He added that study areas and many computer labs would also be opened and critical services across campus "will be sustained to support students as they complete their work".
The university felt it was a "great concern" that it faced possible disruptions when some services resumed on Monday.
Security will be present and "other security" will be on standby to be deployed if operations were threatened.
"We do [this] reluctantly because we understand that staff and students are divided on the issue and security on campus has a negative collateral impact. Also, we recognise that this is not conducive to an educational environment."
Price said the university was "committed to resorting to the minimum security necessary" to protect people and operations.
"The executive believes no solution will be sustainable without us reaching an agreement with a significant proportion of the student body and by dealing with the legitimate demands raised. So efforts at engagements will continue and the executive will never give up on those.
"We appeal to the whole UCT community to rally behind the effort to conclude the academic year successfully."