UKZN to phase-in about 15 000 students

UKZN to phase-in about 15 000 students

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) says it’s busy finalising the list of about 15 000 students who’ll be permitted to return to campuses and residences under Level 3.

UKZN Howard College

Students are growing increasingly worried, and some impatient, with how the lockdown that has kept them at home for nearly three months is impacting their studies.

There’s also a movement on social media encouraging students to ignore the lockdown regulations and occupy campuses and student residences.

UKZN’s management says any illegal occupation of residences will endanger public health.

It says those who forcefully return to campuses and student residences will undermine all the work being done to ensure the institution’s facilities are safe when students eventually return.

The university says it’s been preparing for the phasing-in of students on campus as per regulations drawn up for higher education institutions.

The first group to return could include final-year undergraduate students in laboratory-based programmes who are on course to complete their qualifications; students in clinical programmes, some postgraduate students who need access to laboratory equipment; students with disabilities; the SRC Executive; and student residence assistance and officers.

Management says once the plan is finalised, all eligible students will be notified and given permits to enable them to travel to their studies.

READ: Nzimande visits PMB college to assess state of readiness

No other student will be allowed access to campuses and student residences.

Like many around the country, students have been getting on with their studies at home via online platforms where their lecturers have been uploading material.

But not everyone has easy access to the resources they need to keep up with their lessons.

Some students still don’t have internet access, while others live in remote areas where the network is very patchy or non-existent.

UKZN says it recently tested connectivity, functionality, access to its system resources and learning materials with staff and students.

It’s also considering the possibility of delivering printed study material to the homes of students who are struggling to access resources online during the lockdown period.

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