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CPUT, UWC students vacate residences

The institutions have ordered thousands of students to leave following violent protests, arrests & arson.

FILE: The unprecedented move comes after violent protests, clashes with police, arrests, arson and vandalism on campuses. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) are vacating residences this afternoon.

The institutions have ordered thousands of students to leave.

The unprecedented move comes after violent protests, clashes with police, arrests, arson and vandalism on campuses.

Thousands of UWC and CPUT students have started packing after being told to vacate residences.

CPUT has set a deadline of 4pm today for students to leave while students at UWC have been given until noon tomorrow.

#FeesMustFall Latest from #CPUT regarding international, final year students. SS pic.twitter.com/PDD0MaGF4G

They leave behind a trail of destruction following violent protests by demonstrators demanding an end to outsourcing and the scrapping of student debt.

This week, the CPUT financial aid building was set alight for the second time while at UWC, a residence and security booths were torched.

Both institutions say alternative arrangements will be made for final year and post-grad students who are currently writing exams.

WATCH: UWC protest damage likely to cost millions

Meanwhile, panicked CPUT students say they feel strong-armed into leaving campus amid student protests.

Staff have also been advised not to report for duty until tomorrow.

While packing up the last of her possessions, one student says she's too traumatised to stay on campus.

"I don't want to risk anything, I just want to leave now, so if things get out of control I'm not her. Because on Friday there rubber bullets fired at students, students running away from tear gas, and I don't want that to happen again."

All students have been ordered to vacate campus for safety reasons.

University management says students facing exceptional circumstances must write to the Dean of Students about alternative arrangements.