Response to students' memorandum by the University Executive
Thank you for your letter of demand, received today, Wednesday 17 February 2016. As an institution we reaffirm our commitment to ensure that all academically deserving students are not excluded on financial grounds. To this end, staff at Student Credit Management are working on an explicit mandate to ensure that all financially needy students are assisted. If there is any evidence to the contrary, we endeavour to attend to it immediately.
We are further guided by two overriding concerns: (a) to ensure that the academic programme is not interrupted, and (b) ensuring that events of 2015 do not recur. Your letter of demand makes one proposal, namely that the academic programme be suspended by one week. However, as you would be aware, we have already postponed the academic programme by two weeks as a result of last year’s postponed examinations.
Any further delay will be detrimental to the completion of academic programme for this year. We further wish to clarify that while the long queues on Monday and Tuesday may have given the impression of delays with registration, this is not true as the queues were related to amendments to module choices and/or time table clashes of students that had already registered.
In this regard it is important to note that all first year students are now registered and that more than 80% of senior students have already been registered. Compared to the same period last year (i.e. day 3 of classes) we have done better in terms of percentage of students registered. In terms of financial clearance we can confirm that more than 11,574 students have been cleared including both NSFAS eligible as well as those that would fall outside the NSFAS qualification criteria. All of these 11, 574 students have already been registered and our latest update is that there are no longer significant numbers waiting to be cleared and hence there are no longer any queues at SCM.
The accommodation issue, unfortunately is similarly experienced by all universities. Every institution has a finite number of beds and students would normally be referred to alternative accommodation in surrounding areas. The accommodation challenge is something the University takes very seriously and will be exploring ways of finding solutions as we go forward. The University is actively trying to procure additional spaces off-campus and negotiations in this regard is continuing with potential providers.
Yours sincerely, The University Executive