2 December 2016
Dear students, staff and the broader UCT community
Please note the revised date, time and venue for the meeting to discuss kick-starting a process of engagement around fee-free higher education:
Date: 7 December
The change became necessary when we learned yesterday that there was a clash with another meeting of staff and postgraduate students which is also aimed at discussing solutions to a number of longer term challenges facing the university.
Please note that this initiative is being organised collaboratively by staff and students from #FeesMustFall and the Student Representative Council. All are welcome to attend. Information on this meeting is provided below.
A large focus of the student protests both at UCT and nationally is the call for decolonised, free, quality higher education. There have been calls for universities to engage with this campaign. UCT has submitted a document to the government, which clarifies its position on the call for free education (read the document). This position was formed without widespread consultation.
The agreement signed between the UCT executive and the SRC Candidates on 7 November 2016 includes a section on the funding of higher education (read the agreement). In particular it expresses "support for investigating the principle and implementation possibilities of fee-free higher education (recognising that there may be competing views and solutions and that the university may not settle on a single consensus position)". The message contains a commitment to "engaging in debates and lobbying at national level" and supporting "a formal ongoing research programme into the economic policy framework for higher education".
The following are possible objectives of an institutional process:
The following principles will guide the facilitation of the process:
There will be a meeting on 7 December at 16:15 in Studio 1 in the New Chemical Engineering Building.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss kick-starting this process with the aim of broader participation when the 2017 academic year begins. The mandate will be narrow given that participation will be hindered, particularly for students who have been sent home following the completion of the academic year.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
All are welcome.
Professor Anwar Mall
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