Some 15 000 students collectively owe R200-million in outstanding student fees to KwaZulu-Natal's three main tertiary institutions - the University of Zululand (Unizul), the Durban Institute of Technology and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The institutions do not allow students who are in the red to register for the new year, and the debts are being handed over to attorneys for collection. Unizul bears the brunt of these outstanding fees, its students beholden for about R126-million, while the just-merged University of KwaZulu-Natal and the DIT are owed R25-million each.
The Department of Health in the Northern Cape is lauding a report about the academic performance of 16 South African youths who left the province last year to study medicine in Cuba as part of an agreement between the two countries. After completing their studies, these students are expected back in the province to work in primarily rural areas, part the government's plan of placing skilled health care personnel in these regions. Spokesperson Thabo Lekhu reported that the students were doing well, and that the programme was a wise investment on the part of the government.
Eighteen Studentsfrom Maseno University in Kenya have either been expelled or suspended for three academic years for taking the institution to court last year. According to the charge sheet prepared by Maseno's deputy registrar of academic affairs, Okuta Ogacho, the students committed an offence of "misconduct by bringing the university into disrepute". Ogacho said that the students jointly and unlawfully - with others - filed a case in a Nairobi law court seeking to be recalled after being suspended by the Senate for involving themselves in riots in June 2003.
The authorities at Nigeria's University of Uyo (UNIUYO) claim to have uncovered a plot to assassinate the institution's vice-chancellor, Prof Akpan Ekpo, and some key officials. According to Ekpo, the group of assassins - whom he did not name for security reasons - intended to strike on or before the next convocation of the university, which comes up on March 18 to 20. The motive for the planned attack is unknown.
Taking its cuefrom Squirm, an erotica magazine published by compatriot Vassar College, Harvard University's Committee on College Life (CCL) has okayed a student-run magazine that will feature nude pictures of undergraduates - although the publishers are barred from taking any photographs on the university campus - alongside articles on sexual issues. The students behind the magazine, Katharina Baldegg (sic) and Camilla Hrdy (sic), deny that H Bomb, as the publication will be known, is pornographic, touting it as "an outlet for literary and artistic expression that is both desired and needed". The CCL says that it considered the matter to be an issue of freedom of speech.
Sources: Independent Online, IAfrica, Chronicle of Higher Education, CNN.com
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