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UWC students return to campus ahead of exams

The university was one of several across the country that was affected by anti-fees protest.

UWC students dance around burning tinder as they await the rector's speech regarding tuition fee increases. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Students at University of the Western Cape (UWC) are to return to class today to prepare for their final examinations.

The university was one of several across the country that was affected by anti-fee protests.

Exams were meant to start today but have been postponed to next week.

The university's Luthando Tyhalibongo says, "It is our exams preparations week and we've allowed to prepare for exams for the next week and on 2 November, students will start with their examinations."

Meanwhile, Cape Peninsula University of Technology's doors remain closed for today.

All classes and exams have been postponed until further notice.

Many of the students condemned the chaos that followed the march, which saw police using tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse angry protesters who damaged property.

FEMALE LEADERS PRAISED

Social Development Minister and African National Congress Women's League President Bathabile Dlamini says student leaders at forefront of the Fees Must Fall campaign acted in a disciplined manner and she is proud that many were woman leaders.

Woman have been at the forefront of the campaign at Wits University, with incoming SRC president Nompendulo Mkhatshwa and outgoing SRC president Shaeera Kalla seen at the front of negotiations.

They were among those who marched on the Union Buildings, demanding that high tertiary education fees be scrapped.

Dlamini says these women show true leadership and have impressed her.

"We are proud of that. They led the process in a very disciplined way and no one is going to remove the fact that whole process was led by young women."

#FEESHAVEFALLEN: UNIVERSITIES REACT

A number of universities say they will have to cut crucial projects to make up for the shortfall in funds after Zuma's announcement that tuition fees would not increase in 2016.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ)'s Vice-Chancellor Ihron Rensburg says his university alone now has to fill a R200 million gap next year.

He says they have to cut crucial projects.

"We don't have an alternative. Otherwise critical parts of the academic project is going to have to be shut down."

Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor Sizwe Mabizela says his institution is already struggling with funds.

"We'll have to look at how we re-prioritise our budget, so that at least for 2016, we are able to provide the essential aspects of our academic project."

Mabizela says with electricity going up and overseas journal prescriptions becoming more expensive due to the poor exchange rate, it will be extremely difficult for universities to find the necessary funds."

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