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Unisa Students Call For Academic Year To Be Suspended

people protesting, holding up placard

Students from Unisa have been protesting for the academic year to be suspended if they are not given the chance to register.

This comes as student protests have been taking place nationwide, calling for government to make higher education free for all students. 

Students gathered outside the Unisa campus in Pretoria, waiting for the Vice Chancellor to receive their list of demands.

"We are embarking on a peaceful protest so we don't understand the police intimidation. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We want to send a strong message to the government to say that we are not going to be shaken, it is our right to protest." said one student. 

Students chased the registrar away today when they arrived on campus. One student explained that they had tried to engage with the registrar on various platforms without much success. 

"Students are very frustrated. They are very angered by the level of arrogancy coming from management ... We are going to make sure that we render this institution ungovernable."

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has called on students to refrain from protesting, as this could cause further disruptions to the academic year. 

The Minister has reassured students that the Higher Education Department is working to resolve the grievances of students. 

"I urge student structures to continue engaging with the management teams of all our public universities, utilising the communication structures that are already in place for this engagement. Many of the matters that you have raised with me require that students and university management work together at institutional level.
 
"Many of the issues that have been raised will require careful consideration and planning at the national level and will be addressed through the work that the Department of Higher Education and Training will be doing in collaboration with other government departments, including National Treasury, the Department of Science and Innovation and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation."

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