A massive effort from the extended NMMU community will be needed to help almost 27 000 students complete their studies to graduate or progress to the following year, if the present disruptions on some of the university’s six campuses continues.
After a four-week of shutdown, followed by a week of serious interruptions as the University endeavoured to get its academic programme back on track as a result of the ongoing national FeesMustFall protests, time is seriously against NMMU in completing the 2016 academic year before the year is out.
However, with the support of staff, parents, business, industry, civic society and concerned individuals, the University believes it can still meet its commitments.
Galvanising the goodwill
NMMU is hoping it can galvanise the goodwill of the metro and those living in George, where NMMU also has a campus, to make this happen.
And so the University launched its #Support4NMMU campaign online on the http://fmf.nmmu.ac.za website today to establish what the citizens of the metro and George are willing to share.
Concerned citizens and businesses can offer to assist with everything from providing toiletries through to accommodation and venues.
Building a database
Building this database will proceed even as the mediation process ordered by the High Court and engagement with the FeesMustFall student leadership continues, as the University develops different teaching and assessment methods going forward. This includes using digital platforms.
Given that many of its students do not have easy access to the internet or smartphones and tablets, the University is pursuing various options to make such tools available in order to offer an online solution for completing the academic year.
As the academic year will now continue into December, NMMU has also established an online form for those students living in non-accredited or private accommodation whose lease expires at the end of November.
Close to 600 students have already completed this form. The University is hopeful that many of these students will be accommodated by the families of their classmates, or that landlords will extend their leases for a week for free or at a minimal cost. Even so, it is likely that hundreds of students at NMMU be in need of home-stay accommodation for a few days in December.
What is needed?
Apart from accommodation with meals and transport, venues for various purposes and personal items like toiletries, NMMU is seeking volunteers who may be able to assist, regardless of the quantity, with the following:
Please #Support4NMMU on the http://fmf.nmmu.ac.za
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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