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UNISA CALLS OFF STRIKE AS IT REACHES AN AGREEMENT WITH THE SRC

Jones Maluleke

Pretoria – The University of South Africa (Unisa) and its Student Representative Council (SRC) have called off the shutdown. This follows the two parties signing an agreement last week Saturday that will see that the student strike called off with immediate effect and normal operations of the university resuming by Monday, 14 January 2019.

The agreement came as a result of the breakthrough made by the parties during negotiations within the university; as well as constructive engagement by the parties with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), focusing on the registration challenges at Unisa, which included accreditation, enrolment planning, provision of laptops and other matters.” Unisa said in a statement on Sunday.

The university will make every effort to ensure that all 2018 Higher Certificate students who have applied for admission for cognate Bachelor’s degrees; and meet the admission requirements, will be accordingly registered. There will be clear timelines of offers to Higher Certificate recipients. Unisa is subject to the DHET Student Enrolment Planning Policy Framework and as such our head count is limited to 380 000 and the first time entering students to 54 434. Unisa is not in a position to accept all qualifying students. However, Unisa Management has agreed to consider an additional 10 887 first-time entering students who have applied and who qualify.

However, the university has agreed to consider an additional 25 000 spaces for students have applied for the first semester of 2019 and who qualify. The NSRC will be kept informed weekly at a committee meeting on progress in this regard.

The net fee increase to be implemented will be 5.3% in accordance with a national norm. The NSRC disagrees with any fee increment and reserves its right to continue campaigning for Free Education.

Unisa will develop a plan by end February 2019 to enhance services in all regions; with comprehensive consultation in the regions.

“As Unisa, we welcome this agreement and we are pleased that the operations of the university will return to normal; and that thousands of our people who aspire to acquire an education and better their lives; will be afforded the opportunity access Unisa,” said Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mandla Makhanya.

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