The University of South Africa (Unisa) has again issued a statement to the public and its students around certain concerns and demands from them.
“The University of South Africa (Unisa) has noted with concern student protests across its campuses, including proclaimed intentions for these protests to continue until student demands have been met.
The protests revolve mainly around students concerns about financial exclusion and the extension of the registration deadline.
The university empathises with the plight of the students and is currently finalising the necessary arrangements for the extension of the registration deadline, which it will communicate in due course.
During the period of the extended deadline, the university will ensure that the registration backlog is speedily attended to and that the concerns around financial exclusion are also addressed as best as possible.”
To understand why this statement needed to be issued it’s important to know what’s going on in the higher education segment in South Africa right now. Recently the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) experienced problems with funding leading to delays. While these problems are being seen to they have caused massive issues for students either missing registration periods, being enrolled late, incurring debt or all of the above on top of other problems.
As universities finally begin the academic year these problems are compounded. Wits, which began its year on 8th March, has recently seen protests related to these issues which has already resulted in a death at the hands of the police.
Unisa has its own unique problems too with lack of communication with students a problem that has plagued the institution for years.
With all of that in context it’s not surprising to see Unisa try and get ahead of things with this announcement. Weather the university will actually see to these issues is another matter entirely and once again students will need to wait for more official information.