UKZN ousts 2 000 'professional students'

UKZN ousts 2 000 'professional students'

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has removed 2 000 'professional students' who had been registered at the institution for as long as eight years for their three-year degrees.

UKZN Howard College

UKZN released a statement yesterday in response to the torching of an auditorium at the Edgewood Campus in Pinetown on Wednesday night, saying it plans to "root out the destructive culture of those who want to drain University's resources with impunity."

READ: Watch: Another building torched at UKZN

The university believes some students are "routinely holding the institution ransom through unrest for personal concessions."

"The University recently removed some 2 000 individuals who have been “professional students” on three-year degrees for eight years or more without paying fees."

"Various departments and functions of the University are similarly under intense fiscal scrutiny and review for their fitness for purpose and performance, key amongst these being the student residences and transport."

The university's Vice-Chancellor, Nana Poku, has expressed shock at the fact that this takes place after weeks of negotiations between management and student leadership in a bid to restore normality.

Sifiso Simelane who's with the University's SRC says the institution is being dishonest regarding the removal of the students. 

"The UKZN SRC on behalf of the students of the university wishes to firstly distance itself from the reckless, insensitive and utterly deplorable statements by the university, celebrating mass exclusion of students."

"As the SRC we are not shocked by these statements as they display at full bare the contempt to which this university has for its core community, students. This is yet another confirmation of the incapacity of the university Executive Management.

 "The SRC believes that the university is in desperate need for Management that seeks to unite students not to be proud about excluding students that are from the poor background."

In Durban last week, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande reiterated that it was unacceptable that students were allowed to take so many years to complete their degrees.

READ: Higher Edu worried about funded students taking years to graduate

Last month buildings were torched at the Westville and Pietermaritzburg campuses after students protested demanding their historical debt be scrapped.

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