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Wits expresses concern over failure to resume academic activity

Wits university spokesperson Shirona Patel says tens of thousands of students’ futures are at risk.

FILE: Students at Wits protest on campus after Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande failed to deliver a free tertiary education policy. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Wits University says a failure to resume academic activity next week would be gambling with the lives of students.

University management is expected to make its final decision tomorrow on whether to resume lectures, which were suspended due to fees must fall protests.

Last week, the university held a referendum which saw more than 16,000 students voting to go back to classes.

As deliberations continue about the fate of students next week, university spokesperson Shirona Patel says tens of thousands of students' futures are at risk.

"If we don't open it and if we lose this academic year, we are basically putting the lives of 37,000 students in jeopardy."

A decision to resume academic activity could mean maintaining a high police presence on campus.

Students and academic staff have voiced their concerns about the increasing securitisation of the institution.

But the university says it hopes to reach a decision together with students in order to make up for lost time.

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