The University of Cape Town’s Vice Chancellor Max Price has warned students to resume academic activities by Monday in order for the institution to complete the academic year.
The university board mentioned this warning protesting students that unless classes resume on Monday, it won’t be able to complete the academic year.
The varsity Vice Chancellor Max Price who seemed angered by the unending student protest over fee increase said if academic activities are further disrupted, the institution may be forced to shut down for the rest of 2016, which would be disastrous.
He called on protesting students to return to classrooms as the fees issue need to be addressed through a democratic process.
“Don’t sacrifice your future and that of the country over short-term specific issues,” he tells students, pointing out that hundreds of health science students would not be able to start internships, while others could not start working in order to earn an income.
Max Price also mentioned that the university board has run polls and 80-90% of students and staff want the University of Cape Town to remain open.
He said though the varsity is against using security in campuses, they have not other option to use it as it has become the last resort especially as the police is only allowed to move in when a crime had been committed.
The university suspended academic activities last week following ongoing protests over fees increase. The varsity VC. Max Price also announced that the institution’s graduation ceremonies would be cancelled for the rest of the year.
“We probably won’t finish the academic year and that means that students won’t graduate, they won’t be able to start their jobs in January…We probably won’t be able to take in new students leaving school… We might have to run the academic programme into 2017 and only take in students late,” he said
As Small groups of students continued their protests for fees to fall, disrupting lectures and tests in an attempt to stop all academic activity, Price called out for more money to be pumped into all university securities so classes can resume.
This comes at the time the Universities South Africa (USAf) announced that the academic project of 2016 is in serious jeopardy as universities record over R600 million over the mass destruction of properties during protests.
“There is growing anxiety that the academic project of 2016 is in serious jeopardy. While we are committed to the idea that students have every right to engage in protests and activism in their quest for fee-free higher education, we are also increasingly despairing of the nature of these protests.
“Damage sustained by the university sector in the last year due to student protests is estimated to have now exceeded the R600 million mark,” USAf stated, adding that the number of damages caused had doubled from a figure of R300 million in damage done to 14 universities released by the Department of Higher Education and Training in April.
Speaking on this, USAf’s CEO, Professor Ahmed Bawa said given the interim nature of the Minister’s intervention, the current shutdown at some institutions is extremely difficult to understand.