×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Varsities prepare for safe return of students, staff

Individuals advised to vaccinate

Yoliswa Sobuwa Journalist
Universities South Africa (USAf) said the rollout of SA’s vaccine programme presents an opportunity for universities to return to some level of normality in 2022.
Universities South Africa (USAf) said the rollout of SA’s vaccine programme presents an opportunity for universities to return to some level of normality in 2022.
Image: 123rf

Public universities are busy putting policies in place to guide the process of achieving full return of students and staff members back to campus next year.

Universities South Africa (USAf) said the rollout of SA’s vaccine programme presents an opportunity for universities to return to some level of normality in 2022.

USAf's CEO Prof Ahmed Bawa said all 26 public universities are grappling with the challenge to understand how to achieve full return of students and staff to campuses, and to do this safely, they are putting policies in place to guide the process. 

"They have also begun engaging their constituencies to ensure common understanding by taking into consideration SA’s health and safety legislation, scientific advice available as well as the Constitution of the Republic. 

"It is intolerable to our universities that many students who entered academic study at the beginning of 2020 have spent little time on their campuses.

"They have had little to no in person engagements either with their lectures, professors or with fellow students. So much of learning happens outside of the virtual or real classroom," Bawa said.

He said universities were congregate settings with thousands of individuals occupying common spaces.

"The best scientific evidence from around the world shows that the most effective way available to protect these settings against outbreaks of SARS-Cov- 2 infections and against serious illness, hospitalisation and death is through ensuring that individuals are vaccinated," Bawa said.

He said leadership at universities must advise their councils of the most effective way to maximally safeguard the safety of students and staff.

Would you like to comment on this article? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.