News

New student parking opens

MARKO SVICEVIC  

The new student parking currently under development at UP’s Hatfield campus will officially open to students on 15 May.

The new parking area comes after UP busses were moved from the Hatfield campus to an interim bus terminal situated on the corner of Duxbury and Herold Street. According to UP Director of Facilities Management, Professor Susan Adendorff, congestion of busses on the Ring Road of the Hatfield Campus prompted the moving of the busses off campus. The interim bus terminal currently occupies the northern part of the H29 (adjacent to the Lunnon Street entrance) student parking lot.

Outcome of the national review of the LLB qualification

MARKO SVICEVIC

On 12 April, the Council of Higher Education (CHE) released the outcome of the national review of the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) qualification. In order to strengthen the quality of legal education across South African universities, a threshold standard was envisaged to serve as a benchmark against which all LLB qualifications were measured.
In terms of the CHE framework for the National Review of Higher Education Programmes, the accreditation process may result in one of five outcomes.

UP Council extends TSC’s term of office

MARKO SVICEVIC

On 15 March, the UP Council, the highest decision-making body at the University, approved a proposal to extend this year’s Temporary Student Committee’s (TSC) term of office until general Student Representative Council (SRC) elections are held in the second semester. According to the current (2013) version of the Constitution for Student Governance (CSG), the TSC administers any urgent affairs of the SRC until a new SRC is elected.

A statement dated 5 December 2016 by Acting Vice-Principal of Student Affairs, Prof. Carolina Koornhof, indicated that the 2017 TSC was appointed by UP Council at its meeting on 28 November 2016, with the TSC beginning their term of office on 1 January this year. According to TSC Chairperson, Henrico Barnard, along with the proposal to extend the TSC’s term of office, a further proposal was submitted to the Council. “It was recommended that Council approve the power to approve any amendments to the CSG [to] be delegated to the Standing Committee of Council, as there are interim measures and Council only meets four times a year,” said Barnard. This recommendation to Council was also accepted. Barnard further explained that the CSG was currently under review and that it was not advisable to have elections in the first semester of 2017 until the CSG review had been concluded. “It is also not feasible to have two elections during 2017, one being a re-election of 2016 and then also the annual elections in the second semester,” added Barnard.

Fees Commission continues enquiry into free higher education

HENRI UYS

On 24 March, officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) appeared before the Fees Commission. Diane Parker, from the DHET, said that student debt has been increasing since 2012. Parker said, “We did an accounting of student debt which was owed to universities by National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) students which had built up from 2013, 2014 and 2015.”

The Fees Commission, set up by President Jacob Zuma after #FeesMustFall protests in 2015 and 2016, is still investigating the feasibility of free higher education in South Africa. The Commission is headed by Judge Jonathan Heher.

FPK breaks crowdfunding record for new album

SHAUN SPROULE

On 22 March, South African rock band Fokofpoliesiekar launched a 60 day crowdfunding campaign through Thundacrowd for their new album. The band’s last album, Swanesang, was released in 2006, but the 11 year gap has not dented their reputation as pledges quickly accumulated.

Fokofpoliesiekar aimed to raise R500 000 by 20 May in order to start recording in June. However, the first 48 hours saw R180 000 being pledged, breaking the Thundafund record for any music album to date. They reached their goal in only nine days.

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