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19 Oct 2016
6:43 pm

UWC cancels further classes for 2016


The university has buckled under the continued onslaught from protesting students, and given up on further face-to-face teaching this year.

University of the Western Cape, Great Hall. Photo: Supplied

After weeks of disruptions and violent protests, the University of the Western Cape said on Wednesday it had cancelled all face-to-face academic activities over uncertainty on stability and safety at the institution.

The university said that its council held an urgent meeting to map the way forward and had responded fully in a written reply to the students’ demands.

“Today, [Wednesday] the situation on campus escalated and it has become clear that simply continuing with face-to-face academic engagement would not be possible without seriously compromising the safety of students and staff,” the university said in a statement.

“Since we were close to the end of the formal teaching programme, many of our modules have been completed or were close to completion. Deans indicated that they were in a position to start preparing for formal examinations and set credible assessments.”

Methods on how to the complete the academic programme would be up to faculties, and managed by deans and heads of departments. Students would be given a choice on whether they would sit for examinations either next month or in January 2017.

“The first session of examinations is scheduled to begin on November 7, 2016, and a time table would be circulated within the next few days. We will continue to monitor the situation and if conditions on campus remain unstable alternate venues will be communicated,” the university said.

“The second session is likely to begin on 10 January 2017. Confirmation of dates and the time table will be circulated in due course.”

Earlier, the university said petrol bombs were discovered at its Bellville campus and cautioned students and staff from going to the campus due to safety concerns.

Management said it would not attend a planned mass meeting on Wednesday.

– African News Agency (ANA)