The Council of the University of Cape Town held its final meeting for the year on 10 December 2016. At the meeting the Council commended the work done by the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors.
The last two years have been difficult for all South African universities. Demands for free higher education, coupled with a broader call for transformation and decolonisation of our institutions of higher education, have occasionally threatened the very continuation of the academic project. Staff, students, workers and external stakeholders have been divided on many lines. These divisions have resulted in disagreements as to what the current nature and function of universities in South Africa is, and what it should be in the future. There have also been differences on the appropriate response to both more immediate demands as well as the longer-term calls.
The agreements recently reached have assisted UCT to complete the 2016 academic year. Had these efforts failed, the implications for the entire university – from teaching programmes to student progress to administration – would have been dire.
The task of leading South African institutions of higher education in this last period has been a formidable challenge. The Council of the University of Cape Town took this opportunity to express its support for the Vice-Chancellor and the Deputy Vice-Chancellors for their persistence and determination to reach for the solutions needed to ensure ongoing successes of the academic project at the university.
With sincere thanks
The Chair and members of the Council of the University of Cape Town
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