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'Fees debate should not compromise academic year'

Gauteng-based vice chancellors have called for stability & a smooth start to the year.

FILE. Tuks has closed and may only reopen on Wednesday, as protesting students call for an end to outsourcing. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng-based university vice chancellors say that while the debate continues over other models to fund higher education, the academic year must not be compromised.

In a joint briefing in Auckland Park on Monday, they called for stability and a smooth start to the year after months of protests.

WATCH: #FeesMustFall reloaded.

They have also condemned the disruption of registration at a number of universities and say to destroy higher education will simply broaden inequality.

Wits University Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib says while students and staff must engage in activism, they must do so thoughtfully.

"If we are serious about addressing economic development, if we are serious about inclusive development, universities are fundamental to the achievement of that goal."

He says to abolish fees all together, would destroy universities within months.

"You destroy your universities, you destroy the possibility of an inclusive developmental democracy in this country."

The vice chancellors say they will present other funding models to the presidential commission of inquiry, but these can only be implemented in the long term.

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