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Compiled by Devina Haripersad

Senior Business/Finance journalist

CPUT sends students home as protests over NSFAS new rule continue

NSFAS announced a new rule that threatens to defund students enrolled in courses under 60 credits.

A total of 52 buses were hired by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) over the weekend to transport students living in its residences to their homes.

According to reports, this move came after students engaged in a week-long protests in response to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) announcement of a new rule that threatened to defund students enrolled in courses under 60 credits.

ALSO READ: Cape Peninsula university halts all operations amid student protests

NSFAS explained that this new rule stipulates that those students who are enrolled for courses that added up to less that 60 credits collectively, will be required to provide their own funding for their living expenses.

The NSFAS also said that the university campus cannot be a permanent place for students, and there is limited window period during which they should complete their degree. As a result, the scheme confirmed that the responsibility for ensuring that students complete their degrees will now be shifted to the applicant or beneficiary, rather than the university.

Classes moved online

Meanwhile, students, who did not take kindly to this news, embarked on protests on campus property to challenge the new rule.

In order to ensure the safety of the students who were removed from the university’s residences, CPUT said that it took the decision to hire the buses. The university also announced that its academic activities would be moved online amid discussions to resolve the issues cited during the protests.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘Until they hear us, there is a complete shutdown of the university,’ say Wits students

University spokesperson Lauren Kansely confirmed that all students who were removed from the university’s residences arrived safely at their respective destinations. She added that the university is currently working to resolve the issues that led to the protests and hopes to return to normal academic activities as soon as possible.

The protests at CPUT and other universities have highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by students as they strive to access quality education while dealing with financial constraints.

Many students rely on financial aid to fund their studies, and any changes to the rules governing these programmes can have a significant impact on their ability to continue their education.

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