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Parliament, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 – The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has committed itself to enhance its oversight responsibility on the University of Zululand (UniZulu) until the institution functioned normally.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Connie September, said there was a need to move with speed on the matter and that the department must intervene immediately.

“We cannot have a situation where UniZulu is spiralling downwards. When we come back for the next term we will decide how we move forward with regard to the institution,” Ms September said.

She said the Human Right Commission (HRC) had also conducted an investigation into the sector, and that the committee will consider inviting HRC to get a briefing on its findings.

The Council for Higher Education (CHE) came to brief the Committee on matters regarding the University of Zululand including governance challenges, matters pertaining to the Vice-Chancellor, the Council, and the sale of degrees. The CHE told the committee that something at a higher level needed to be done so that students are not denied education, and that there had to be a forensic investigation to address those things the CHE lacked capacity to deal with.

Ms September also voiced satisfaction with the progress made at the University of Fort Hare since the oversight visit by the committee to that institution.

“However, the committee is concerned about the reported mismanagement of finances at the Tshwane College and that is supports calls for investigations. “Where transgressions have occurred the law enforcement agencies should deal with that. And students’ preoccupation should be learning and not parties. There are still issues with student accommodation at many institutions, but we are excited with the progress. But also the reported thievery at some institutions should be dealt with,” she said.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON, MS CONNIE SEPTEMBER.

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