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Wits to poll staff and students

- Wits University

Update on academic activities from the Senior Executive Team (15:00):

The University believes that the voices of the majority of students and staff need to be heard. The University has received hundreds of emails calling for the academic programme to resume and has responded to these concerns. 

In order to facilitate as wide a response as possible to the current crisis, the University will run a poll later this week to gauge the thoughts of staff and students on the resumption of the academic programme on Monday, the 3rd of October 2016, if the appropriate security measures are in place. 

All responses will remain anonymous. We are requesting the Independent Electoral Commission to oversee this process and to verify the results independently. 

If the majority of students and staff support the reopening on Monday, 3 October 2016, the University will call upon government and the police to meet their obligations to protect the University’s property and to safeguard the lives of students and staff. 

The University is also extremely concerned about the unfolding and growing crisis in the higher education sector and is calling for an urgent meeting between vice-chancellors, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Police in order to engage further on this matter. 

All University activities remain suspended until further notice. Senior management will continue to reach out to students in an attempt to engage on these critical issues. 

Wits’ stability is important in the context of the broader higher education system. We cannot lose the academic year and we appeal to the University community and wider society to make your voices heard on this key issue of national importance that impacts on our collective futures. 

Staff, students and the public can share their views via anonymously. 

Details of the poll will be announced later this week.