UCT suspends all academic activity

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has suspended all academic activity at the institution on Thursday and Friday, following a week of student protests.

The university said the decision followed “extensive disruptions and barricades” on campus on Thursday morning.

“[Classes have been cancelled], primarily for the safety of students and staff and to avoid exposing staff and students to unacceptable disruptive behaviour,” the university said in an email to students on Thursday morning.

Blended learning models would be implemented to allow for teaching off campus.

The suspension of face-to-face classes excluded the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Graduate School of Business.

The UCT Student Representative Council, whose term is set to finish at the end of this week, previously said it would not allow a fee increase to be implemented.

It promised to “shut down” the university until the institution announces a 0% fee increase, among other things, and promised to escalate mass action in the weeks ahead.

On Wednesday, UCT students disrupted several tests and lectures, in an effort to “shut down” the campus.

Several fire extinguishers were set off during the chaos.

On Wednesday afternoon, roughly 150 UCT and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students marched to Parliament, demanding that President Jacob Zuma release the Fees Commission report he received in August.

Two students, aged 21 and 28, were arrested for contravening the Gatherings Act, Western Cape police spokesperson Andrè Traut told News24.

No injuries or vandalism were reported. – News24

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