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UP’s new language policy aims to promote social cohesion

The university has announced a decision to have English as the primary language of instruction.

FILE: Students gathered outside of the University of Pretoria in February to protest against the language policy. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The University of Pretoria (UP) says its decision to scrap Afrikaans as a primary medium of instruction will hopefully promote social cohesion and inclusivity.

This week the university's council announced a decision to have English as the primary language of instruction and assessment.

The decision follows several protests by students at the institution calling for a language policy change.

The decision has been welcomed by the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command, but met with resistance by lobby grouo AfriForum.

The university's Anna-Retha Bouwer says the exact date on which the new policy will be implemented is yet to be determined.

"The implementation date is subject to the process to be followed by the Department of Higher Education and Training in order to change the statute of the university. Once that has been completed, the policy will be implemented."