The management and staff at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT), remain determined to complete the academic year successfully.
Formal lectures and scheduled tests at the CUT’s Bloemfontein and Welkom campuses were earlier suspended due to safety and security concerns as a result of the protests to demand free education.
Since the closing of the respective campuses, students have made use of alternative teaching methods which include teaching and learning via, inter alia, the digital learning platform, e-Thutho; electronic and social media to ensure that the syllabus of each module is completed.
The academic support centers, the library and computer labs with Wi-Fi facilities are open to students.
Meanwhile, in response to engagements with student leaders and parents at several forums and meetings during the past two weeks, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Henk de Jager, said in a communique to students that they support free education for academically deserving poor and missing-middle students, as well as the conversion of NSFAS loans to grants/bursaries for academically deserving students.
In addition, students will be allowed to continue with their national course to free education for all, provided that it be done in a peaceful manner.
It was further requested that, as from Monday 24 October, the SAPS operate from outside the perimeters of the University, and only intervene when the situation deems it necessary. The CUT Management takes full responsibility for this decision, which was conveyed to the student leadership,
The University Council also approved the decrease of the application fee for late applications for 2017 from R430 to R230.
In an effort to tighten and strengthen the security system on campus, De Jager said the council approved a budget of R5 million towards the improvement of both campuses’ security systems. The first phase of this project, namely to repair cameras and install additional cameras in critical areas, will be completed by the end of this year.
A university spokesperson, Leandra Jordaan, says they remain on course to ensure that the main assessments start on 7 November.