SPU Statement on Student Protest

Earlier today, Sol Plaatje University management met with the Student Representative Council following student protests that led to the suspension of Registration and Orientation. The meeting agreed to the following:

ACCOMMODATION

The University has secured an additional 150 beds, in Accredited Off-Campus Accommodation (AOCA), that will be made available for returning students, from 18 February 2023.

The University will continue to update and publish the AOCA list, however, students must then apply directly to the landlords for accommodation.

Students must be registered and funded to access this type of accommodation. Landlords may require unfunded students to pay a rental deposit to secure AOCA.

The University will assist students funded by negotiating with the landlords about the late payment of their first rental due.

All first-time entering students that applied for accommodation have been placed in SPU-owned/managed accommodation.

First-year students who arrive on campus after 4 pm, must notify the Residence Office in advance of their late arrival. Returning students who are residing in AOCA must make arrangements with their landlords to access their accommodation.

The University will accommodate vulnerable students residing in Kimberley.  Students must use the following link https://forms.office.com/r/5XGUXRmdSg to apply for this assistance by 24 February 2023. A social worker will undertake the home assessments beginning on 27 February 2023, and then based on the social worker’s evaluation, the outcome will be communicated to students. Students will be accommodated subject to the availability of space on campus.

CATERING

Registered residence students who wish to access the dining hall must book their meals forty-eight (48) hours in advance by using the Meal Management System.  This will ensure that we have catered for the correct number of students. The current manual system will be discontinued.

Students residing in Accredited Off-Campus Accommodation who want to access a dining hall for meals must visit the Residence Office to have their names added to the Meal Management System (which is done by the Facilities and Services Department). These students will access their meals by using their student cards in the dining hall. If a student has lost their student card, he/she must visit Campus Security to obtain a new student card.

Note: if a student misses a booked meal they will still be charged for that meal.

The University will ensure that the caterer adheres to the agreement on the portion and quality of meals provided to our students.

FINANCES

a. Allowances

NSFAS-funded returning students will receive their learning material allowance from Monday, 20 February 2023. First-time entering students must ensure that their banking details are uploaded to the ITS system.

Registered AOCA students must provide all necessary documents to finance (this includes rental contracts). Students must allow time for the information to be verified before allowances can be paid out.

b. Merit awards

The University will endeavour to find funding for academically meritorious students.

Currently, undergraduate students who have passed all their modules, and who are not repeating any module, qualify for a merit award to cover tuition costs.

Postgraduate students can apply for merit awards if their grade average is 65% and above. Further information can be obtained from the Research Office.

c. Final year students

The University has made provision to assist unfunded students in their final year to graduate. Deserving students who apply for this funding will be assessed against set criteria.

ACADEMIC EXCLUSIONS

Students who appealed their academic exclusion by the initial deadline of 23 January 2023, will receive their responses by Friday, 17 February 2023. Late appeals up to and including 10 February 2023 will receive a response during the week of 27 February 2023. No appeals received after 10 February 2023 will be considered for the 2023 academic year.

Sol Plaatje University supports the right to peaceful protests and is committed to listening to all student grievances. However, the University strongly condemns any form of violence and damage to university property.

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