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UCT defers graduation ceremonies, enters second week of shut down

26 September 2016 3:48 PM
UCT will use the week of suspended classes to try defuse the tensions on campus and engage with activists before calling police.

UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price announced that campus will remain shut for a second week and that there will be no graduation ceremonies later this year.

Qualifying graduates will still receive their official transcripts and are welcome to attend a graduation ceremony in June 2017.

Price says that so long as classes resume on Monday 3 October 2016, the suspension of lectures will not prevent the completion of the academic year or final exams.

He warns that it would require heavy security and, possibly, the presence of public order police on campus to re-open the academic progamme this week.

According to Price, university management wants to avoid escalating the situation by provoking protesting students with police back up, as has happened previously.

The difficulty is that it can go wrong. We've seen at UCT in the past that, when you bring police on, you can turn a lot of people against you who may not want to shut down the campus.

Dr Max Price, Vice-Chancellor of UCT

It is approximately 300 students, and non-students, who are campaigning to shut down academic activities, claims Price.

Management will use this week to appeal to students and activist who support the call for no fee increases, but without shutting down the institution.

Price explains that there are serious consequences if the university remains shut beyond this week.

If we continue to be shut beyond the end of next week, we probably can't complete the academic year. That has disastrous implications for students themselves, as well as for the university.

Dr Max Price, Vice-Chancellor of UCT

Management hopes that there will be no need for increased campus security by next week Monday.

Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show (with Africa Melane standing in):


26 September 2016 3:48 PM

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