UFS promises to support poor students, but says govt must help
21 September 2016
Bloemfontein - The University of the Free State (UFS) has vowed to do everything in its power to support poor and deserving students, it said on Wednesday.
The university welcomed the announcement that students who qualified for NSFAS funding, and the so-called "missing middle", would be subsidised by government, said spokesperson Lacea Loader.
Loader said, although the institution had not made a decision on a fee increase for 2017, it supported a policy of free education for the poor and expected the government to enable it to do so.
"The university's fee structure and its fee policies are demonstrably pro-poor, and university management will do everything within its power to support those students who fall under the NSFAS criteria and the so-called 'missing middle'."
Student representative council (SRC) president Lindokuhle Ntuli announced on his Facebook page that a scheduled fees protest had been cancelled due to possible violence.
"The SRC has noted several violent incidents and accompanying threats during the two days of protests. At no point will the SRC condone any form of violence, vandalism or intimidation," said Ntuli on Facebook.
"Threats of assault have been made to students who may opt not to join the movement and plans to forcefully remove students from residences," he said.
However, about 100 students protested on campus on Wednesday morning. The media was not allowed on campus.
On Monday, Ntuli announced that the campus would be shut down for the entire week.
This comes after Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced on Monday that universities could determine their own fee increments for 2017, but that they should not exceed 8%.
Hundreds of students sang and danced as they disrupted classes at the university following the announcement.
The university announced on its website that academic and administration services would resume on September 26.
This article first appeared on News24, see here.