Following the protest embarked upon by the students of the University of Witwaterstrand, South Africa, the school authority has introduced measures to pacify the aggrieved students in order to bring normalcy back to the campus.
On Monday, March 1, 2023, protesting students of the University of Wits blocked the outside of Yale Road North of Empire Road.
Because of the protest, the Senior Executive Team of the University warned that students should avoid the Yale Road North Entrance and access the University through alternative entrances.
The university authority was surprised that in spite of the measures lined up, and arrangements and working relationships which has been established, students could still elect to protest.
However, to manage the development, security has been put on the ground to enable access to Wits campuses for staff and students, and to ensure that staff and students are safe, said the executive team.
The team also added that the protest would not disturb the activities as academic program would continue as scheduled, saying the campus protection services were managing the protest.
According to the team, the university is committed to enabling students to access new measures of higher education, as far as its resources allow.
“The university has progressively increased the amount of funding allocated to students,” disclosed the executive team which added that in 2022 Wits disbursed over R1,6 billion to over 26 thousand students.
“Management has been linking with the Students Representative Council (SRC) the past few weeks to help secure funding largely from the private sector to enable the academically deserving students to access higher education.
“In fact, up till last night, officials were in contact with SRC trying to get as many qualifying students to register as possible.
“Wits has matched the R6,2 million brought in by the SRC rand for rand. In effect, there is a pot of R12, 4 million available in the SRC Fund for qualifying students.
“To date, over 36, 200 (96 percent) of Wits students have registered for the 2023 academic year with postgraduate intakes set to continue throughout the year.
Also, in the words of the executive team, the University has committed R28 million (up from R10 million) to the Wits Hardship Fund to assist academically deserving students to register and secure emergency accommodation. To date over 500 students have been funded at a cost of R1 8. 1 million.
In addition, the university has secured 350 beds from accredited private accommodation service providers to assist students in need, including those that have been sleeping in libraries and other spaces.
Other measures, as announced by the University, is its willingness to assist students through funding, fundraising from known sectors, and administrative financial aid, bursaries, and scholarship.