UWC: On-campus operations suspended for this week
As you would be well aware, the situation within higher education nationally is turbulent at the moment. Regionally, all four universities in the Western Cape experienced disruptions to the academic programme today.
We once again this morning experienced campus-wide disruptions and some of the academic and professional support staff who were already at their work stations were told to vacate their offices by protesting students. The situation remains unconducive for working, teaching and learning. In addition it creates huge levels of stress, uncertainty and confusion for staff and students.
We have accordingly, in consultation with the Deans, taken a decision to suspend on-campus operations for the rest of the week. Deans/Heads of academic departments will communicate with students with regards to any alternative arrangements that might have been made in respect of tests, assignments, practicals or completion of the curriculum.
Staff are also urged to liaise with their heads of departments for alternatives to continue with their work off campus.
As the Executive Management we fully empathise with the students, staff and parents, and we understand their frustrations and anxieties resulting from this situation. The resolution of the situation is, however, not only university-specific but needs to be addressed at a national and sector wide level.
The further suspension of classes for this week effectively means we will be losing two of the remaining four weeks of the academic programme. Discussions with Deans and faculties are under way to determine which courses and modules are impacted by this loss of two weeks and we are exploring alternative strategies and options, including blended learning.
At this stage we are also evaluating the impact of the loss of two weeks on the examination schedule due to start on 7 November 2016 and will consider alternative plans if necessary.
Meanwhile, the University continues its efforts to engage with the Student Representative Council, the broader student community and stakeholders in an attempt to normalise the situation on campus.
We will be monitoring the situation nationally and on campus on a daily basis, and will provide regular updates.
UWC Executive Management