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Rhodes delays opening of term

A survey by the Rhodes University Alumni Trust indicates that most former students voted against a name change

Rhodes University’s academic year is set to start a week late as the institution wraps up the last of its 2016 exams.

This follows the #FeesMustFall protests which resulted in the suspension of classes and the extension of exam timetables at various universities across the country, including Rhodes and NMMU.

About 300 Rhodes students opted to defer their 2016 year-end exams to write them this month.

Rhodes spokeswoman Veliswa Mhlophe said the exams would start on Monday and end on February 10, so the academic year would start a week later.

Mhlophe said the university did not expect a drastic impact on the 2017 academic year as it had reduced its first vacation period in April from two weeks to only one.

She said Rhodes would provisionally provide up to R40-million of its own money for allocation to financially needy students.

“Rhodes is committed to ensuring that no academically deserving but financially needy students are prevented from studying at the institution.

“Due to the fact that National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding is not sufficient for the actual costs of study, including tuition and accommodation, Rhodes offers all NSFAS-qualifying students top-up funding.”

Mhlophe said in order to facilitate a quicker and more convenient registration process, students were encouraged to register online.

Registration at the institution for its 8 200 students began last week and will end when the academic year officially begins in February.

Rhodes vice-chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela said the university was committed to a successful academic year.