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DUT Adopts Virtual Lectures Amidst NSFAS Protests Prioritizing Safety and Academic Continuity



DUT Adopts Virtual Lectures Amidst NSFAS Protests Prioritizing Safety and Academic Continuity

DUT Adopts Virtual Lectures Amidst NSFAS Protests Prioritizing Safety and Academic Continuity. Amid ongoing student protests at the institution, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) has taken a decisive step to address the situation and uphold academic integrity. The protests, which disrupted regular lectures, prompted officials to take action to ensure the safety of all stakeholders.

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Threats to Uninvolved Students and Lecturers

The recent student protests at DUT have not only caused disruptions to lectures but have also created an environment of intimidation for those not directly involved. Both students and lecturers who were unconnected to the protests reported feeling threatened, prompting the university to prioritize safety across all its campuses.

Interim Online Lectures as a Precautionary Measure

Acknowledging the unpredictable nature of the ongoing protests, the university administration has made a strategic decision to transition to interim online lectures. The disruption of lectures is expected to persist through the pre-election period of the Student Representative Council (SRC), raising concerns about the safety and security of the campus community. In response to these concerns, DUT has opted to implement online lectures as a precautionary measure.

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Challenges Stemming from New NSFAS Payment System

The catalyst for the student protests lies in challenges associated with the new National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) payment system. Students have voiced their frustration regarding payment delays and issues arising from the implementation of the eZaga direct payment system. Notably, the eZaga payment system is managed by a supplier appointed by NSFAS itself, with DUT having no involvement in the payment process or supplier selection.

Suspensions and Disciplinary Actions

DUT has taken a firm stance on maintaining its rules and policies during these tumultuous times. In response to identified rule violations, the university has suspended several students who were found to be involved in the protests. These students will undergo a formal disciplinary hearing process. As of now, four suspensions have been confirmed, and additional hearings are scheduled, with four more suspensions anticipated.

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The Durban University of Technology’s decision to conduct virtual lectures amidst the ongoing NSFAS protests underscores its commitment to ensuring the safety and academic continuity of its campus community. The challenges arising from the new NSFAS payment system and the disruptions caused by the protests have necessitated these measures to safeguard the well-being of all stakeholders.

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