Student news wrap 27/03/19

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News from home and around the world…

TUT re-opens without disruption… so far

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) re-opened all of its campuses on Monday (March 25) and says it is working to cover all students in need of accommodation and food allowances. Exams have also been moved to June to ensure that students have enough time to prepare and a new academic calendar is due this week.

While rumours of further disruptions have surfaced, EFF Student Command chairperson, Kingsley Baloyi, confirmed that there are ongoing discussions with university management as not all students had been catered for as yet. Willa de Ruyter, the university spokesperson said university management was monitoring the situation closely at all campuses and a contingency plan has been put in place to deal with any new disruptions. – Read more on this story on the IOL news site

How UWC students got their own fairy godmother

Over the last two years a University of the Western Cape (UWC) lecturer has been moonlighting as a fairy godmother and helped over 1,400 students with needs ranging from textbooks to closed shoes for winter. The anonymous “Fairy Godmother”, or FG for short, started the initiative two years ago when she was hit by the “horrendous reality” of how not having taxi fare can stand in the way of a student’s education.

The initiative provides a platform for registered UWC students to submit requests for assistance for short-term needs like food, transport money or text books. FG then publishes the student’s request anonymously and puts the person in touch with a donor. The requests received paint a sad picture of some students’ dire realities. “It has become clear that the average student is a lot poorer than we thought. You think that at university, students get pissed and have fun, living the best days of their life. This can’t be further from the truth for most of our local students. This gives perspective and a more accurate idea of what’s happening – it’s not a three-year party,” FG said. If you want to help or just see what it’s all about you can click on FG’s Back a buddy page – Read the full story on the News24 site

Zim company donates laptops to first year students

Zororo-Phumulani, a Zimbabwean funeral insurance and repatriation provider based in South Africa, has donated laptops to disadvantaged first-year students from various South African universities for the second year running. The company runs an annual programme to assist needy students, who are selected according to strict criteria. On Friday (March 22), 40 students received brand-new Mecer laptops at an event held in Johannesburg. Applications for this year’s giveaway ran from February 1 to February 28. The company has stated that they intend to make the ceremony bigger to reach more students. – Read more on this story on the Citizen news site.

Japan probes ‘disappearance’ of 700 foreign students

The Japanese government has launched an investigation into the disappearance of about 700 foreign students. The students, who are all enrolled at the Tokyo University of Social Welfare, had stopped attending classes and some had been out of contact since last April. Among those missing are people from Vietnam, Nepal, China and other countries. The visas of most of these students have expired as they were enrolled as researchers for the current academic year, which ends this March. The university had similar cases in 2016 and 2017 where students stopped paying tuition after attending only a few classes. – Read more on this story on the Japan Times site