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varsity chaos

By Khulekani Mazibuko | Jan 21, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

REGISTRATION was disrupted at the Durban University of Technology yesterday when students protested on the Steve Biko Campus in central Durban.

More than 200 students gathered outside the campus to protest the increase in registration fees and the alleged exclusion of students because of unpaid tuition and residential fees.

University management called in private security reinforcements to prevent students from entering the university premises or damaging property.

A meeting between students and management was held late yesterday with no outcome. The talks were set to continue today.

Students submitted a list of grievances to management, citing outstanding fees, accommodation and transport problems. The students, mostly those already at the university from previous years, complained that the increase would disadvantage them.

Other students said they were hamstrung by the delay in payments from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS).

SRC spokesperson Sifiso Mdakane said students would continue with the protest until their demands are met.

"We met management and will meet them today as well," Mdakane said.

"The outcome of our protest action will depend on management's response to our grievances."

He said the accommodation fee increase was between 13 and 20percent.

"We cannot allow a situation where students are denied the right to an education because they are poor or have financial difficulties," Mdakane said.

SA Students Congress spokesperson Sandile Motha said they were going to oppose the increases.

"We believe the institution has gone against the agreement they struck with the SRC last year that tuition fees would only be increased after three years.

"Now the registration fee has increased from R2500 to R2700," he said.

Motha said they were working jointly with the SRC to assist the students.

University spokesperson Bhekani Dlamini confirmed that a meeting had taken place but said no outcome was reached.

Dlamini said no damages were reported and the protest was peaceful.


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