Wits to refund students for COVID-19 disruptions

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Wits University says it will refund students due to the disrupted academic year.

University spokesperson Shirona Patel says students will get back a percentage of their money because of the disruption in their studies this year due to the pandemic.

Campuses around the country had to close their doors and students had to study remotely for most of the year.

Patel says they’ll refund accommodation, meals and other fees.

“In terms of accommodation, a credit of 25% will be implemented for the number of days that a student has not stayed in residence. Despite students not occupying residences throughout the year, the university still incurred salary maintenance and service costs and can therefore not credit the full amount. In terms of catered student meals, students will receive a credit equating about 91% of the meal price for each meal not consumed.”

Challenges facing higher learning institutions post COVID-19

Universities South Africa says the biggest challenge that tertiary institutions are facing is how to manage a surge in cases on campuses across the country, as students returned around June..

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says the academic year for universities is likely to only be completed in the early part of next year.

CEO of Universities South Africa, Professor Ahmed Bawa, says universities will have to better prepare to deal with clusters of outbreaks as they occur.

Universities and TVET colleges had to close down in March this year following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

In a media briefing held in March this year, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced the closure after the outbreak was declared a national disaster:

-Additional reporting by SABC News