Dissatisfied Monash students launch online petition

Worried university-goers express their disapproval of the way AdvTech handled the takeover.

After hosting an open day in which they outlined their five-year-plan for prospective students and their parents, tertiary education institution Monash South Africa has surprised many with their announcement that they will be leaving the country.

Australia’s biggest university, Monash, registered their South African contingent back in 2000 and, after 18 years in the business, have concluded a R340 million deal that will see their campus and all its assets become the property of JSE-listed education group AdvTech.

According to Business Insider, Monash had been looking for a partner to take over the South African institution for some time and AdvTech’s track record gave Monash comfort that existing students would be well catered for, explained group academic director of AdvTech Felicity Coughlan.

Monash’s existing students are feeling anything but comfortable.

In addition to flooding the institution’s social media pages with questions about how the buyout affects them, the student body has filed an online petition to “register its dissatisfaction in the manner in which the school has handled the issue of the sale of the institution” [sic].

The petition, which has amassed more than 1000 of the 1500 signatures it needs, also has a list of demands attached to it including naming rights, world-class service, and that “the investment of students both current and former will not be tampered with”.

Many seem to be under the impression that the university campus will cease to exist and that their qualifications will no longer carry weight, but that is not the case.

In addition to rebranding the West Rand campus, AdvTech plans to roll out some of the registered Monash qualifications at its other tertiary institutions, which include Vega, Rosebank College, and Varsity College.

University management, both old and new, have highlighted how the campus, which has a capacity for 6,500 students, could be the answer to the bottleneck building up at public higher education institutions. The acquisition has driven AdvTech’s tertiary student complement up to over 70,000 students (part time and full time).

NOTE: This story was updated at 3.11pm to update the original featured image, which was from refurbishments that happened four years ago. The person who tweeted it was allegedly pretending to be a student currently on campus, according to the university. 

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