Universities to reopen in mid-March - Nzimande

The minister said all tertiary institutions had aligned their 2021 academic calendar with the release of the matric exams results, which is expected on 23 February.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande at a media briefing on 18 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said universities across the country would be opening in mid-March to give first year students a chance to enroll.

The minister has on Monday given an update on the reopening of tertiary institutions as the country battles a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

He said most universities are set to finish their 2020 academic calendar in the coming weeks.

READ: Nzimande: High education dept invested R68 million in COVID-19 research

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme has received over 750,000 applications for the 2021 academic year - a 25% increase from last year.

The minister said all tertiary institutions had aligned their 2021 academic calendar with the release of the matric exams results, which is expected on 23 February.

“Our universities have planned in such a way that they will open way after the matric results have been announced so that all those who were writing matric exams will have an opportunity to be admitted to our institutions.”

Nizmande said some institution had already completed all learning and teaching activities, while the vast majority was expected to finish by March.

“we also urge all stakeholders to focus their efforts in ensuring that their instutional plans are implemented and communicated as agreed.”

The higher education minister said the sector was prioritising health and safety protocols especially during the registration period.

WATCH: This is the plan for the resumption of tertiary education in SA

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