Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) operations and academic preparations for the resumption of class tomorrow proceeded satisfactorily across all six campuses in Port Elizabeth and George today.
We look forward to welcoming our students back tomorrow after a four-week shutdown so that we can complete the academic year for 2016.
We re-acknowledge that staff, students and their families have all been affected by the national fee-related protests, but are hopeful, as a University community, that we can still successfully complete the academic year without compromising quality and academic integrity.
Assistance to staff
To further assist line managers with reassuring staff during this transition process – going from shutdown back to lectures and onto exams – please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the http://fmf.nmmu.ac.za website for helpful information. This page is dedicated to all that has happened and continues to happen in relation to the impact at NMMU of the national student campaign for free higher education for all.
Academic Recovery Plan
As students have lost momentum in their learning and are anxious about a range of things, including finishing everything that still needs to be done, NMMU has drafted an over-arching, student-friendly academic recovery plan. It will develop faculty-specific plans in consultation with students. Academics will factor in that this week will focus on transitioning back to a learning mindset. Students will also be alerted to rescheduled dates for tests and assignments. A new examination timetable will be shared in due course. The plan also makes provision for more intensive support of student learning and wellness. Catch-up tutorials and supplemental instruction sessions can be offered while students are encouraged to form their own informal study groups. To enhance their readiness for studying, Student Counselling will offer group sessions.
Campus libraries are considering extending their operating hours.
Accommodation Recovery Plan
While plans are in place to assist students who live on campus or in accredited, off-campus accommodation, plans to help those living in non-accredited establishments off campus still need to be fully developed. Please encourage these particular students to register their details on a data base that we are building in anticipation of those who may not have alternative accommodation options during December. Here is the link http://ow.ly/kEc5305fbv8. It is on the http://fmf.nmmu.ac.za website.
A national directive by Government to the South African Police Service (SAPS) means that police have to be visible at all universities throughout the country. NMMU is no exception to this decision.
We are sad to confirm that the Xanadu/Melodi clubhouse was destroyed by fire last night. A formal police investigation is underway. Further information will be shared once the University receives official feedback.
According to our information, three NMMU students were arrested today in connection with alleged participation in illegal activities relating to the fees protest in previous weeks. This took place before the University’s request for a court interdict came into effect at the weekend.
The interdict was sought by NMMU as a last resort after the court-ordered mediation process failed for reasons beyond the control of the University. The main purpose of the interdict is to protect the rights of those who wish to access the University to pursue their studies, while allowing for the right to protest in solidarity with national concerns provided this is done in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the interdict. These include that protesting students conduct themselves in a manner that does not:
· interfere with, obstruct or disrupt university business and academic operations;
· damage property;
· contravene University rules; as well as
· intimidate other students or staff.
Staff and students are reminded to carry their NMMU identification cards on campus. You are encouraged to read the interdict in full so that you are familiar with its conditions. Link to the interdict
Social media and other threats
NMMU is also aware that various threats and intimidating voice notes have been circulating on social media. Some of these have been in circulation at other universities for some time. However, you are encouraged to forward all such cases to firstname.lastname@example.org for further investigation.
Appeal for commitment
Leadership, empathy and much support will be needed in the weeks ahead. It is only through this united commitment by staff that our students will be able to complete their academic year in order to graduate or progress to the next year.
Thank you for playing your part.
Tel: +27 (0) 41 504 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 41 504 2574 / 2731
PO Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa
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