Nzimande condemns students 'blocking the university system'

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pretoria - Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has condemned students who unfairly spend many years in the university system to the disadvantage of others.

"It cannot be acceptable for one to be allowed to spend seven years in an institution trying to complete a three-year degree and filling up a space that could have been otherwise used by another younger deserving learner who wants to access higher education," said Nzimande.

He said the longer students stay in the system beyond the permissible minimum period for a degree, the greater the problem they were creating for other potential students coming out of the schooling system, wanting to access higher education and training.

"Allowing a student to spend more years in an institution failing rather than passing would not be acceptable in any country anywhere else in the world."

Nzimande was addressing the Eastern Cape leg of the national road show to engage stakeholders on the National Skills Development Strategy 111 on Tuesday at the East London City Hall.

He also condemned and discouraged protests that were marked by violent and illegal actions, where facilities were vandalised.

"It is totally unacceptable for students to embark on protest action against the administrations of institutions of higher education and training because they do not want those who have spent more years studying for a degree and not passing, to be excluded.

"In instances, however, where there is unfair exclusion, we are prepared as the department to intervene and engage the institution so that the particular circumstances of the student can be taken into consideration. No poor student who has performed academically should ever be excluded on financial grounds," the minister said.