Dear colleagues and students
I write to appeal to staff and students to participate in an important event scheduled to take place this afternoon – the University Assembly on Free Education to be held at the Jammie Plaza at 15:00. It is important not only as a forum for airing views on the subject, but also as an indication that the UCT community, is seized with this issue as one of the most important challenges in the higher education sector.
The assembly will discuss various models and positions on free education in South Africa. All staff and students are encouraged to attend and take advantage of this platform to express their views on these important matters affecting not only our campus but all universities in the country.
The programme will include a presentation on the work done by the Free Education Planning Group. Views will be solicited on “Does the University of Cape Town support Free Education?” Various speakers will give their viewpoints on the matter and address issues that will be important in responding to the 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.
Dr Max Price
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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.”