Unisa reaches agreement with striking students

09 August 2019 - 12:23 By IAVAN PIJOOS
The agreement includes the extension of the examination period for the second semester and students who failed to pay full registration fees will still have access to the study material online to enable them to prepare their assignments.
The agreement includes the extension of the examination period for the second semester and students who failed to pay full registration fees will still have access to the study material online to enable them to prepare their assignments.
Image: 123rf/dolgachov

The University of South Africa (Unisa) has reached an agreement with striking students following a "national shutdown".

The agreement comes after days of meetings between Unisa and representatives of regional student representative councils from all provinces.

The purpose of the meetings was to identify and resolve issues that affect teaching and learning at the institution.

Protests broke out at the Sunnyside campus in Tshwane this week after the release of examination results last Friday. Students blocked Justice Mohammed Street with rocks and burning tyres.

The agreement includes the extension of the examination period for the second semester and students who failed to pay full registration fees will still have access to the study material online to enable them to prepare their assignments.

Students who registered in February and failed exams in May and June will qualify for automatic supplementary examinations in October and November.

The supplementary opportunity will be free of charge to these students.

Unisa said of the 8,256 qualifying students, 7,603 had already received their laptops, but 383 had not collected them and 270 have not signed the NSFAS bursary forms.

The institution said it would also "embark on urgent interventions" to address the infrastructure challenges at campuses where necessary.

Other agreements include:

  • The final date of submission of assignments will be September 6 2019. This excludes signature or on-line modules. 
  • The request by students to access their scripts at no cost will be referred to council for approval.
  • The report of the May/June 2019 examinations will be submitted to senate and thereafter made available to the SRC.
  • The matter of the disciplinary charges against the president of SRC has been referred to the legal services department.
  • To the extent necessary, the university may be forced to obtain an interdict where life or property is threatened.

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