While student collectives across the country made great strides in 2015, the struggle for free and quality education in Mzansi has not yet been won. Right now University of Johannesburg students are planning to #OccupyUJ on Monday 11 January, 10am at Gate 1 of UJ’s Auckland Park campus. If enough of us support them, management will feel the pressure to meet their demands.
As UJ student Anele put it, “We are planning to #OccupyUJ this Monday as our demands from last year have not been met, the most important being free and accessible registration for students”.
We know fees have not yet fallen because this very moment, students at the University of Johannesburg are facing financial exclusion because they cannot afford the registration fees and cannot access their academic records from the previous year due to non-payment, preventing them from applying for sponsorships and bursaries. The University has also introduced an online registration portal, putting an additional barrier for those without internet access.
Together, we can fight financial exclusion and demand that free quality education for all is realised.
Dear Vice Chancellor Professor Rensburg and University of Johannesburg Management,
We, the undersigned, are not willing to sit and let another year pass as deserving students are shut out of an opportunity to further their studies because of their financial circumstances. As students and members of the public, we call on you to:
- Provide free registration for all
- Remove the means test, which puts people through the indignity of having to prove poverty and also excludes those not considered poor, but are unable to access loans;
- Exemption for non-affording students from financial exclusion by way of Acknowledgement of Debt (AOD);
- Allow all students to access their academic records;
- Allow students to enter campus and use its facilities to register
- Ensure that students who protest are not be victimised by the university or assaulted by the university’s various security companies
- Lift the suspension of the three students who are still suspended due to the university’s continued postponement of their hearing and
- Ensure that accredited off-campus student accommodation stays within the bounds of the R2650 NSFAS rate.
Together for justice,
University of Johannesburg Fees Must Fall collective