By NIVASHNI NAIR
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) suspended its academic programme with immediate effect on Monday.
Vice-chancellor Prof Nana Poku said given the uncertainties surrounding timelines for normalisation, the university’s managers had resolved to work with the senate to ensure all lectures were recorded and loaded on to virtual platforms as a matter of urgency.
“At this point, UKZN has not experienced any Covid-19 incidents that would be a cause for a change in normal operating procedures, and the university remains open and operational. However, management is cognisant of the president’s statement which has banned gatherings of more than 100 people and is seeking further guidance from the relevant ministries through Universities South Africa.”
“To this end, the academic programme is suspended, including tests, with immediate effect until further notice pending further engagements on a sector-wide approach regarding contact classes,” he said.
The university has also cancelled its April graduation ceremonies.
In April every year, the university traditionally hosts about 20 graduation ceremonies attended by close to 30,000 graduates and their families.
“After due consideration of inputs from the university’s Covid-19 team of experts and other key stakeholders, a decision has been taken to cancel the 2020 April graduation ceremonies,” Poku said.
The institution was exploring options to ensure graduates would receive their qualifications and related documents by the end of April.