Committee Calls for End to Financial Exclusions
No South African university should exclude academically-deserving students on financial grounds.
This is according to Advocate Ishmael Malale, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training. He was addressing the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) management at the Bellville Campus yesterday.
He said if that could be allowed to happen, that would mean the perpetuation of gross denial of children who came from historically-disadvantaged families to education, notwithstanding eighteen years of democratic dispensation. “Our committee maintains zero tolerance on financial exclusions” said Adv Malale.
The Committee visited CPUT’s Bellville Campus after January registrations were disrupted by protesting students due to disagreements on 2012 fee increment.
It emerged during the meeting between Members of the Committee, management and student leadership that the university council took a decision on 26 November 2011 to increase 2012 tuition and residence fees despite the objection of student leadership.
According to management, student leadership argued for zero percent increase on both tuition and residence fees. The Committee noted that, although there had been discussions on fee increment between the university management and student leadership, but there had not been “meaningful engagements” between the stakeholders.
“The university council should not be absolute but should look and ensure that there is fruitful participation of all the university stakeholders,” said Adv Malale.
The Committee reiterated its unhappiness on mass action that included burning of tires and financial exclusions. “Please eliminate protests, engage each other meaningfully and call the Department of Higher Education and Training when there is deadlock, this university is a public institution,” said Advocate Malale.
Advocate Malale urged the management to ensure that students were part of the Financial Exclusions Committee that was due to meet today. He said that the Committee needed feedback on the outcome of the meeting. He also appealed to the management for the cancellation of court interdicts against students.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services
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Mava Lukani (Mr)