University assembly: UCT students and staff are invited to a university assembly on Wednesday, 1 November 2017, at 15:00 outside the Memorial Hall (previously known as Jameson Hall). The assembly aims to determine the university’s view on issues including free education, fee increments and financial exclusion. Jammie Shuttles will run from 14:00 to 15:00 to transport staff and students to the assembly.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture: originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 1 November 2017, has been postponed. A new date is yet to be determined for the lecture, which was set to be presented by Professor Maano Ramutsindela. Details of the rescheduled lecture will be communicated once confirmed.
Universities South Africa (USAf): this representative association of all 26 public universities in the country has issued a statement in response to the presidency on the Fees Commission report.
UCT will return to face-to-face teaching on all campuses on Wednesday, 1 November 2017. Similarly, all other UCT operations, including tests, examinations and practicals, will continue as scheduled.
The executive and the Senior Leadership Group (SLG) met yesterday and committed again to the critical importance of completing the remaining eight teaching days of this term, and to successfully concluding the exams on the published dates. The SLG further resolved that there would be no blanket deferral of exams.
The executive engaged the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and student protesters over the weekend in an attempt to reach an agreement that further disruptions would not occur and that the examinations would not be disrupted. The SRC representatives expressed their commitment to end disruptions with certain conditions.
At the suggestion of its SRC members, Senate on Thursday, 26 October 2017, agreed to hold a university assembly to discuss various models and positions on free education in South Africa. This assembly, co-hosted with the SRC, will be held on Wednesday afternoon, 1 November, (time to be confirmed) on the Jammie Plaza. All staff and students are encouraged to attend.
Various speakers will give their viewpoints on the matter and address issues that will be important in responding to the leaked Fees Commission report. This will be an opportunity for the university community to come together in making a very public statement about the funding of higher education at a critical time, just before the release of the report.
As a place of debate and thought leadership, UCT needs to offer solutions to the problem of financial barriers to higher education, and to share ideas to address the sustainability of a high quality university sector.
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In a statement to UCT students, Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price said:
“I wish no student to be ignorant about what constitutes unlawful protest behaviour.
Disruption of classes, blocking of entrances or exits, interfering with traffic flow, putting up barricades that prevent people from conducting normal business or attending classes, and any form of intimidation – whether physical or verbal – is unlawful.”