Universities can return students to 100% attendance – Minister Nzimande

The minister briefed the media on Wednesday on both his portfolios as minister for higher education, and science and innovation, and how the departments would be affected by level 1 lockdown.

FILE: The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande addressing a media briefing on further measures implemented on COVID-19 within the Higher Education, Science and Innovation sectors, on 7 July 2020. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande on Wednesday announced that universities were in the position to welcome 100% of students back on campus.

Nzimande briefed the media on both his portfolios as minister for higher education, and science and innovation, and how the departments would be affected by level 1 lockdown.

Higher education students were forced to study from home this academic year with constraints on data and the availability of laptops, especially for students in rural areas.

Nzimande said universities were in the position to welcome both local and international students back on campus.

But the minister said the return would be subject to any restrictions linked to their own risk assessments at a local level.

“I am pleased to say that we are now in a position to welcome back 100% of our university students, including all those international students who are currently outside the borders of South Africa,” Nzimande said.

“All universities are implementing their plans to return all students and staff from 1 October subject to any restrictions linked to their own risk assessment due to their local context and conditions,” he added.

He said international students who had left the country would have to comply with travel regulations under level 1.

“With respect to international students returning who remain outside our country, they will need to meet the requirements of the Cogta regulations, which includes having a test not older than 72 hours showing that they are negative for the virus on arrival in South Africa. If not, they will need to go into quarantine at their own expense for at least 10 days before proceeding to their respective institutions,” Nzimande said.

Nzimande said according to universities, not all students who had been issued permits under level 2 lockdown were willing to return to campus.

WATCH: Minister Nzimane briefs the media on Higher Education



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