Some UFS students exempted from writing exams as result of trauma
The University of the Free State has agreed that some students who were traumatised by events during last week’s fee increment protests on its campuses should write their examinations a week later.
Last Friday‚ 36 students were arrested at the university’s Bloemfontein campus following protests by students unhappy with the proposed fee increment by the university.
The exams were due to start on Monday‚ but scores of students did not write the exams‚ according to the university’s student representative council (SRC) president Asive Dlanjwa.
He said the 36 students were released on bail on Sunday evening after funds were raised for their release.
They appeared in court on Monday and they will appear again on February 19 next year.
“We were supposed to be writing examinations‚ but we have asked the university to postpone the examinations by at least a week to afford students time to physically and emotionally recover‚” Dlanjwa said.
Dlanjwa said the proposed fee increment for 2018 by the university triggered these protests.
“Ultimately fee-free education is a goal‚ but we demand that the president release the Fess Commission report (on the feasibility of fee-free higher education and training). The university cannot propose a fee increment without having regard to the commission’s views on the matter.”
The university said it met the SRC on Monday morning where it was agreed that students who felt traumatised by events that took place on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa campuses last Friday and did not think that they were fit to write exams‚ must provide their names and student numbers to the respective SRCs.
It said students who wrote exams on Monday but who feel that they have done so despite being traumatised and want to withdraw from the examination list‚ must indicate their names‚ student numbers‚ and the exam that they wrote.
“These students are also eligible for additional exams in relation to the exams set for the week of 23 October to 28 October‚” the university said in a statement.
It said students in Armentum and Beyers Naudé residences‚ which were singled out by the SRC as particularly affected by the events‚ would be offered counselling and medical assistance. It said the 36 students jailed on Friday‚ as well as those students residing in Armentum and Beyers Naudé who were traumatised or hurt by the events‚ would be starting exams a week later and will be given additional examinations for the modules they had to write during the week of 23 October to 28 October 2017.