UCT lifts registration fee block for returning students with 2020 historic debt

The announcement comes after dozens of demonstrators on Friday marched to the Kramer building on UCT's campus, demanding that around 2,500 financially excluded students be registered.

FILE: UCT upper campus is a main gathering spot for Fees2017 protesters to discuss their grievances. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The University of Cape Town (UCT) has said that all returning students with 2020 historical debt would be allowed to register for the 2021 academic year.

The move follows protests that erupted at Wits University last week and spread to campuses around the country, as students took a stand against financial exclusion.

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Dozens of demonstrators on Friday marched to the Kramer building on UCT's campus, demanding that around 2,500 financially excluded students be registered.

Following a meeting on Saturday, the UCT council said its registration fee block had been lifted.

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The university’s spokesperson Elijah Moholola said: “With immediate effect, the student registration fee block in respect of the 2020 debt will be for South African students and those from the rest of the continent.”

The decision pertains to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, excluding those from the Graduate School of Business.

The decision however does not scrap historical debt, as the institution's current intake of students has student debt amounting to R88 million.

“The funding crisis is indeed a national crisis, no university can solve it on its own. The higher education sector urgently needs intervention by the government.”

The university reiterated that R30 million had been set aside to support eligible students in the process of servicing their debt.

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