Minister of higher education Blade Nzimande has warned that no students should be left to sleep in unsafe environments due to pending registration.
Nzimande said he has been closely following the opening, registration and commencement of this year's academic programme in all the public universities and TVET colleges.
"There should be no students left to sleep in unsafe environments because their registration is pending finalisation. I therefore urge all our institutions to work with the Student Representative Councils [SRCs] to ensure that all those students who are not as yet registered are provided the necessary care and support, and where appropriate, to be provided with temporary accommodation, in line with the institutional extension of registration," he said.
He said progress in engagements has been realised through the resolution of many of the initial registration challenges raised by students in the past two weeks.
Nzimande said this includes concerns raised by students on registration, unblocking of returning students, payment of allowances, historic debt, mandatory vaccinations and accommodation issues.
Nzimande encouraged both the management and student leaders to continue to find institution-based solutions to the outstanding challenges, using the framework provided by the department.
“Whilst institutions are working on ensuring that all students are safe, students have an equal obligation to ensure the safety and protection of the university or private property. Students also have an obligation to publicly shame and condemn anyone who maliciously destroys this much-needed infrastructure within the post-school education and training sector," Nzimande said.
Nzimande said to ensure that no student was left behind, there has been an extension of registration periods in some affected institutions.
The following universities have extended their registration deadlines:
- Durban University of Technology – first year registration extensions from February 21 to March 11
- Nelson Mandela University from February 14 to March 4;
- University of KwaZulu-Natal registration has been extended to March 4.
“In certain circumstances, there are some universities who also took a decision to delay the commencement of the academic year. For those who have commenced with the academic year, universities are using blended teaching and learning methods with the study content also available online for those who might not have been registered at the time of the commencement of classes," Nzimande said.
On SA students studying in Ukraine, Nzimande said the department is working closely and in consultation with the department of international relations and cooperation in ensuring the safety and comfort of all the 32 students studying at various institutions in Ukraine.