South African lecturers have joined their students to contest the increase in University fees. Those in Cape town joined the protests on Thursday.South Africa’s education ministry has been struggling to justify the eight percent increase in university fees by indicating that South Africa’s universities need money to effectively prepare the students for the job market but the students and lecturers want a better strategy.
“We are concerned about the future of universities in South Africa, and we have come here to come together with students and staff to show a united front,” a biology lecturer, Janet Hapgood said.
“Academics have turned out in support of the statement that was put out that higher education is under threat, and in general we feel that the state needs to put more funding into education and to build partnerships so that higher education can survive,” engineering professor, Alison Emslie, added.
Students have appreciated the support received but want the lecturers to allow the students to be at the forefront.
“It is a student led movement. Can we let students be the ones that are in the front? We know you guys are supporting us and we love it. We appreciate it. But can this be about students and not management please!” a university student shouted during the joint protest with lecturers.
On Thursday, South Africa’s government denounced the intensification of violent demonstrations in universities, promising to put an end to the acts.
Classes have been suspended in several universities across the country. On Thursday, the entrance of the Pietermaritzburg university was burnt down in the Kwa Zulu-Natal province.