Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Francis Petersen, says they have engaged with the SRC at the university and other students organisations over concerns raised. These include concerns over NSFAS-funded students who were allegedly expected to settle their outstanding fees prior to registration, increased fees and cancelation of provisional registrations. Addressing the media over the status of 2019 registrations, Petersen said they resolved to keep provisional registrations for students with outstanding fees on a condition that the outstanding debt does not exceed R14 000, and that those with an outstanding fee above this amount approach the Student Finance Division.
Petersen’s briefing comes just a day after OFM News reported on the South African Students Congress’ (Sasco) vow to shut down the university, should the management of the university fail to head to their call. The organisations previously stated that the university seeks to purge and deny poor students education by not attending to issues that continue to plague them.
Petersen has refuted these claims and said on their list of priorities, is enabling access to students who academically qualify to study at the university.
He further condemned the behaviour of students who engaged in the protests and said it is unacceptable that they shut down registration points while prospective students and parents that have travelled far to campus to enquire ahead of the official registrations set to commence on the 21st for senior students and the 25th for first-year students.
Petersen says online registrations have thus far been progressing well, and they are pleased that the situation has returned to normal ahead of the official registration dates.
He alludes that they are expecting a smooth 2019 academic year.