NWU & WSU remain closed, UFS resumes classes

Academic programs at institutions of higher learning have been marred by continued disruptions.

FILE: The science centre and the administration block at the North West University have been destroyed by a fire during a violent demonstration at the institution on Wednesday night. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The North West University (NWU) and Walter Sisulu University (WSU) remain closed indefinitely, while the University of the Free State (UFS) resumed classes today.

Academic programs at institutions of higher learning have been marred by continued disruptions.

At the North West University, tensions rose last week over what appears to be the inauguration of a new Student Representative Council (SRC).

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In the Free State, violent clashes broke out last Monday evening after a varsity shield match was disrupted by students who were calling for an end to outsourcing.

Nationwide student protests have continued at other universities in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape.

The University of the North West's Koos Degenaar says their campus will remain closed indefinitely for students, however, staff were allowed on the premises today.

"Management has been in a meeting with the senate to establish a way forward and the possibilities of what we can do."

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On the other hand, the University of the Free State's Lacea Loader says academic activities resumed today.

"The Bloemfontein campus is clear and security measures have been doubled up to ensure the safety of our students and staff as well as public property."

Meanwhile, the mayor of the Walter Sisulu Municipality will tomorrow lead a delegation to the Mthatha campus to pay for the registration of 220 students.


The University of Johannesburg (UJ) says it aims to raise another R30 million by the end of this year after successfully raising R31 million for the so-called missing middle students.

The "UJ missing middle" campaign, which launched on Thursday, aims to address the needs of students who don't qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) but still can't afford tertiary fees.

Earlier this year, the financial aid scheme announced that it would be piloting its new funding model that aims to address the gap.

UJ's Mpho Letlape says the institution's Vice Chancellor, Ihron Rensburg, and academic staff contributed hundreds of thousands of rands allowing them to reach their target.

"The different deans of faculties as a collective contributed R550,000 and that is how we have been able to get to the R31 million that we are at."

Letlape says the university will be administering the money for around 5,000 students who cannot afford their university fees.

At the same time last month, the Wits SRC launched its "Access" campaign aiming to raise R10 million also to assist the missing middle.