UJ Vs Wits
Protesting Wits and University of Johannesburg students have been presented with plans by the universities to resolve outstanding issues after President Jacob Zuma announced a zero per cent fees increase for 2016.
UJ’s management released an eight-point plan on Facebook to resolve student issues. In the statement issued, UJ management said that the zero per cent fees increase would result in a shortfall of about R199 million that they expected the government to cover, however in Wits University’s nine point plan they pledged to contribute to the shortfall caused by the zero per cent fees increase.
UJ management further pledged their support for the students’ call for free education stating that this was an important issue, adding that they would lobby and work with all concerned stakeholders. Furthermore both universities have said that they will establish a task team to look into the matter of outsourcing and its effects as well as possible solutions.
Both universities pledged to move back the exam dates to allow all students to write. Wits has yet to announce their examination date, with UJ exams expected to begin on 7 November. Supplementary exams are rescheduled for 7 – 11 December. Classes and tests at UJ that were scheduled for 22 and 23 October and that have not taken place, will be rescheduled to take place from 28 – 30 October; study break (block week) shall now be from 31 October to 6 November.
Wits said that their academic programme will resume on 28 October and a new exam time-table would be released before the end of the week.
UJ management said that they would decolonise education by no later than 2017 and that they planned to set up a task team, that would include senators and students, to deliberate on the concept and process of decolonisation of knowledge, which would also be included in the university’s curriculum.
UJ also pledged to fast track its transformation at its university, where they would accelerate the academic progress of black and women academic staff members. The UJ management stated that even though they were recording good progress in regards to transformation, the topic would be tabled at the UJ Council meeting in November.
Both UJ and Wits university said that no disciplinary action would be taken against students who participated in the protest. However, UJ management was adamant that the interdict that they were granted would remain in place and would be evoked if the safety of staff and students was threatened.