Universities must mandate vaccinations as a matter of urgency, says Prof Jansen
- Several universities are mulling mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policies for students and staff on campus
- Columnist and education expert Prof Jonathan Jansen says university vice-chancellors need to show leadership and mandate vaccinations
- Dr Linda Meyer from Universities South Africa (USAf) says institutions are legally entitled to exclude students who aren't vaccinated from campus
Renowned education expert Professor Jonathan Jansen says higher education leaders must act quickly and decisively on mandatory vaccines for students and staff.
Prof Jansen has written a column for TimesLIVE urging university vice-chancellors to urgently mandate vaccinations.
He warns that mandatory vaccines should not be used as a political issue.
Why university vice-chancellors need to act on their convictions and mandate vaccinations as a matter of urgency. My Times column tomorrow: no vaccination, no registration— Jonathan Jansen (@JJ_Stellies) September 15, 2021
Jansen says students need to be able to safely return to in-person classes because online learning has exacerbated inequality.
There are all kinds of reasons why we need these young people back in the classroom, and the way to do that is to do that as safely as possible because this virus is not going to go away.Prof Jonathan Jansen, Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Education - Stellenbosch University
Dr. Linda Meyer, operations director at Universities South Africa (USAf), says academic institutions can make vaccination a mandatory requirement for entry onto campus.
Although mandatory vaccinations are not mandated by law, Dr. Meyer says universities can refuse entry to people who aren't vaccinated.
She argues that universities have the right to do so based on provisions in the Constitution, Higher Education Act, and Occupational Health and Safety Act.
There is no legislation that enables anybody to be forced to take a vaccination. So, really what the debate is around is exclusionary processes where universities would say, if you are not vaccinated... we have the right to exlude you from our campuses, or any of or premises or residences.Dr Linda Meyer, Director of Operations and Sector Support - Universities South Africa
We encourage universities to continue with the delivery of their online programmes if this is a decision that they make to exclude individuals from their campuses within this frame.Dr Linda Meyer, Director of Operations and Sector Support - Universities South Africa
The issue is, can universities exclude students? They have a legal mandate to do that.Dr Linda Meyer, Director of Operations and Sector Support - Universities South Africa