A look at what’s been happening at universities and with students around the country as we kick off 2018…
Wits university and unions reach wage deal
The workers’ strike at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) was suspended after management and the workers’ unions reached an agreement last week Thursday. The strike ran for nine days, when the workers demanded a 12% increase in salaries, but Wits offered 8%. – Read more on the News24 site.
Implementation of fee-free higher education going well in KZN – deputy minister
Deputy Minister Buti Manamela visited institutions of higher education in the province, including the University of South Africa (Unisa) in Durban and Durban University of Technology (DUT) and says the Department of Higher Education and Training is “quite happy” with the progress made in implementing the government’s policy on fee-free higher education. “We were monitoring the implementation of the government policy, ensuring that all parties, including students, management and workers, understand what this policy is.” he said. – More on the News24 site
Three injured in shooting incident at DUT protest
Three people were injured when a firearm went off during a scuffle between security and striking workers at the strife-torn Durban University of Technology on Wednesday (January 30). A student and two employees sustained minor injuries. Ongoing industrial strike action has also forced the institution to delay the start of the academic year by a week. Lectures were due to kick off last week. However‚ the impasse between management and staff over wage increase demands has resulted in the university moving the commencement of academic activities back a week to Monday‚ February 12. – Read more on the Times Live site.
Students ‘lock in’ Unisa staff members
Last week, students at the University of South Africa (Unisa) “locked in” staff members at the Durban campus demanding they work for “24 hours” to register the waiting students. Students allegedly blocked the staff gate to prevent staff members from leaving. Unisa had just come off a week-long strike by staff members, which has led to many students being unable to register. – More on the IOL site
Free higher education in South Africa: Cutting through the lies and statistics
Current public “debates” contain many myths or misconceptions about what free tertiary education would mean, ranging from the implications of free higher education proposals for poverty and inequality to the feasibility of funding such proposals. These have been compounded by the political opportunism of President Jacob Zuma and his advisors. – Read more on the Mail & Guardian site