The University of South Africa (Unisa) and its student representative council (SRC) reached an agreement on Saturday that will see the student strike called off with immediate effect and operations at the university resuming by Monday‚ the university said.
“The agreement came as a result of the breakthrough made by the parties during negotiations within the university; as well as constructive engagement by the parties with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET; focusing on the registration challenges at Unisa‚ which included accreditation‚ enrolment planning‚ provision of laptops and other matters‚” Unisa said in a statement.
“As Unisa‚ we welcome this agreement and we are pleased that the operations of the university will return to normal; and that thousands of our people who aspire to acquire an education and better their lives; will be afforded the opportunity access Unisa – a university that plays a leading role in the higher education sector in the country and on the continent.
This breakthrough also demonstrates how crucial dialogue is in efforts to find solutions. Notwithstanding this agreement‚ we still urge students to register online unless it is absolutely necessary to visit a Unisa Service Centre‚” said Unisa principal and vice chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya.
The high court in Pretoria on Friday granted the university an interdict against students who had been protesting since Monday.
In terms of the agreement reached on Saturday‚ Unisa said it had agreed to consider an additional 25‚000 spaces for students who had applied for the first semester of 2019 and who qualified.
In response to a demand by students that the NSFAS accord all benefits to Unisa beneficiaries‚ the university said that plans were in place to engage with NSFAS on the matter.