The principal concern of the University of Johannesburg is to continue with the full academic programme on all campuses. The overwhelming majority of students are determined to continue with and to complete the 2016 academic year. The management and academic staff are resolute in providing the best possible conditions for our students to succeed academically.
Attempts at disruption by a very small minority have been contained, and the University is doing everything possible to ensure that the situation remains safe and secure for students, staff, and visitors. UJ has a strict policy of allowing access to campuses only to those who have legitimate reason for being there, and the court injunction requiring a notice period for demonstrations remains in force.
“The loss of teaching and learning time which the small minority of protesters is attempting to force on the overwhelming majority of students can only hurt the poorest among our students,” said UJ Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ihron Rensburg. “That is why we remain clear that this academic year must be completed successfully in the interests of the many thousands of our students whose families have sacrificed to support their studies and who cannot be burdened with having to support their children for an additional year.”
The University together with its security providers will ensure that their approach assists in deescalating any potential conflict while ensuring the safety and security of the entire UJ community.
“UJ remains fully in support of free education for the poor,” said Prof Rensburg. “Together with our peer institutions we continue to invest significant effort in engaging government as we work towards this objective as rapidly as possible.”
A decision on the fees for 2017 has not yet been taken by UJ’s Council. It is however already clear that the combination of government and UJ financial support for poor and missing middle students whose annual family incomes are below R 600 000 will ensure that fully 75% of UJ’s 50 000 students will receive the necessary financial support next year.
“We are extremely pleased that aside from the extra support announced by government, we as the University have been able to raise more than R80-m this year specifically dedicated to supporting those students who do not qualify for NSFAS but whose family income is too low to support them,” said Prof Rensburg.
“UJ’s mandate is to empower young people and their families through the provision of knowledge and skills they can use to contribute to the South African economy and society, and we will do everything necessary to ensure that we continue to empower as many students as possible again this year,” said Prof Rensburg. “We are happy that it has been possible this week despite all efforts at disruption to conclude the graduation ceremonies at which UJ bid farewell to 12 325 young professionals it has equipped for a productive and positive future.”