HIGHER EDUCATION Minister Blade Nzimande says 66% of public university students will return to campus under Level 2 lockdown to complete.
Nzimande made the announcement during a media briefing on COVID-19 Level 2 measures for the higher education sector.
“I am happy to report under Level 2 of the lockdown, it will be possible for us now to allow for up to a maximum of 66% of students to return to university campuses,” said Nzimande.
Nzimande said the pressure for universities to complete the 2020 academic year is because the 2021 academic year is expected to begin between March and April.
“The starting dates for the 2021 academic year will range from March 15 to April 15,” he said.
A majority of South African university students have not been at their campuses since March when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
“Institutions have reported differential levels of responsiveness in terms of their progress in completing the requirements for the current academic year and the readiness to commence the 2021 programme,” said Nzimande.
Nzimande said so far, 80 people from the public higher education sector have succumbed to the coronavirus.
He’s sent his condolences to all their families and friends.
“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported by institutions was 1,552 of which 975 were staff members and 577 were students,” said Nzimande.
Students are expected to return on 1 September 2020.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE EDUCATION STAFF)