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Where to After #FeesMustFall? Adam Habib Reveals Wits’ 9-step Plan (Podcast)

After a week of turmoil across universities in South Africa, the government has agreed to a zero percent fee increase for 2016. So, where do we go from here?

South Africa's Suspended RevolutionInguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa YashiywaNtwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika BorwaRewolusie op ys

 
Professor Adam Habib, vice-chancellor of Wits University and author of South Africa’s Suspended Revolution, released a statement in which he shared the outcomes of Friday’s meeting between the presidency and Universities South Africa.

Read the article:

The Vice-Chancellors and Chairs of Council represented through Universities South Africa, today presented the following proposals to the joint meeting hosted by the Presidency at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

1. All parties should collectively commit to a zero percent (0%) increase for 2016, with government stepping in to make up the difference

2. Universities will independently commit to deliberate on their expenditure and make immediate efficiency gains.

3. The Presidential Task Team that was established will deliberate and attend to the plight of students in debt and increase funding for financial aid.

4. The immediate establishment of a commission to look at the restructuring of the entire system, including fee increases, subsidy and cost drivers and historical inequality, including infrastructure renewal.

Yesterday, Habib told Talk Radio 702’s Stephen Grootes that he’s disappointed that some students haven’t ceased protesting. He explains that although the initial demand of a zero percent fee increase for 2016 has been met, there are still outstanding issues that students feel need to be addressed. His primary concern, however, is getting the academic programme back on track.

“I think all of those other demands are imminently addressable within the university and we are prepared to sit down and talk to them; we’re prepared to address the academic programme, the examination schedule,” Habib said.

“The one big issue is outsourcing and insourcing,” Habib continued. “I recognise that it’s an exploitative practise but our big challenge is how to do this.”

Listen to the podcast:

 

Wits also released a statement on Monday in which Habib said that academic activities at Wits will resume on Wednesday. Habib revealed the university’s nine-step plan to meet the demands of students and improve the academic environment at Wits:

1. There will be no increase in fees. This means that academic, residence and any other fees will not be increased. The Presidency has agreed to underwrite the cost of this, provided that the university makes some contribution.

2. The university is prepared to address the increase in the upfront fee payment.

3. The university recognises that the protests have adversely affected the ability of students to write their examinations. It therefore commits to restructuring the academic programme and examination timetable.

 
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