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Management at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has decided to cancel all face-to-face classes and tests at its Soshanguve campuses due to continuous disruptions.

In a statement, university Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Lourens van Staden said management was concerned at the disruptions that are continuing at the North and South campuses, despite a public undertaking by students to return to class.

He said there are 16 244 students studying at the campuses, who have invested a great deal of time and money in their studies.

“These students should be allowed the opportunity to complete the 2016 academic year. The university, therefore, remains steadfast in its decision to create an environment that will allow all our students to write their exams this year,” said Van Staden.

He urged students to utilise MyTutor and other virtual platforms for important academic updates and information, as well as exam and other arrangements from lecturers.

“Exams will commence on 21 November 2016. Residents will remain open, however, those students who wish to return home to prepare for the exams may do so,” Van Staden said.

He said the decision will not affect the quality of teaching and learning at the Faculties of Humanities and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Any student or individual found to be disrupting the academic project will be dealt with in terms of a court interdict, the law and internal disciplinary processes.

“The university views disruptions and destruction of property in a serious light and a number of individuals have already been suspended and arrested during the past two weeks,” Van Staden said.

No fee adjustment

On 24 October, the university and the Student Representative Council (SRC) signed a memorandum of agreement confirming that no TUT student would pay a fee adjustment next year.

The parties also agreed that all financially needy and academically deserving students will not be excluded because of historic debt.

It was also agreed that all classes would resume without delay and the academic year will be completed without interruption.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced in September that government would provide support to higher education institutions to ensure that National Student Financial Aid Scheme qualifying students, as well as the ‘missing middle’ from households with an income of less than R600 000 per year, will not be exposed to any fee adjustments in 2017.

In TUT, this group is estimated to account for approximately 90% of the university’s student population. – SAnews.gov.za

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