Aggrieved students protest over DUT diploma enrolments
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DURBAN - AGGRIEVED Durban University of Technology (DUT) students protested outside the Steve Biko campus yesterday.
Police said the students blockaded entrance Gate 3 to the campus as they demanded to be admitted into the diploma programme next year.
The students are currently enrolled in or have completed a higher certificate qualification.
According to Sinenhlanhla Khusi, of the SA Students’ Congress (Sasco) and member of Student Parliament at the university, the students’ appeals have been neglected for a long time.
“From 2018, we have been negotiating this issue and it has never been attended to up until today. So our question is why are they busy wasting the institution’s resources on something that does not help anyone? This thing must be cut off, and they must enrol the students who have already begun with their higher certificate studies because the list that we have is of students who are from 2019, who have studied but are sitting at home and need to be enrolled, and students from 2020 who need to be enrolled, and the current students who are still studying,” said Khusi.
Khusi said DUT should officially scrap the higher certificate if they would not be enrolling the students in the diploma programme.
He added that uncertainty around the issue affected the students as some were currently doing exams, while others were reluctant to go home because they did not know if they would be able to return, as only registered students could return to DUT the next year. He said since they are a political organisation, Sasco had formed an alliance with the IFP and EFF student organisations to fight the issue.
According to Khusi, there was an inconsistency in student enrolment.
“What we want is for all students who have passed with this qualification and are currently pursuing it, to be enrolled into the mainstream. If they cannot do that, then they must completely cut it off and the students who are currently studying must be enrolled for their diplomas.
According to the university, their stance on the matter had already been discussed with the Student Representative Council (SRC).
“During a multi-forum meeting held on November 15, 2021, the DUTDeputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching & Learning, Professor Nokuthula Sibiya, and the SRC discussed the issue … The university was honest and transparent and clearly reiterated its position, which was initially communicated to the SRC in March this year.”
According to Simphiwe Mabika, a student doing her higher certificate qualification in marketing, she was misinformed.
“We were not informed that the course we are doing is an exit course and now we find ourselves here. In the beginning, we were told they would absorb 10% of students and there are many of us, while some might have to return home. So we are here to ask management to hear our pleas as students because right now we don’t know where to go from here. We are done with exams but we can’t go back home without knowing what is going to happen next year,” she said.
Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said: “A group of students blockaded the entrance to the campus. The police were called to monitor the situation and the students dispersed peacefully.”