ActionSA Urges the Minister Of Higher Education To Help Fort Hare University Return To Its Former Glory

ActionSA urges the Minister of Higher Education to assist the historic University of Fort Hare return to its former glory, instead of passing disparaging remarks.

ActionSA takes note of the Minister of Higher Education’s claim that the circumstances at the University of Fort Hare are worse than they have ever been, giving the impression that there is no chance for the university to be saved and returned to its former status as a capable and outstanding university.

The Minister of Higher Education has ample grounds to declare the institution in some sort of “state of disaster” given the deaths of university staff and the attempted assassination of the vice-chancellor, instead of simply declaring the university a crime scene, without intervention.

The Department of Higher Education should respond immediately to the current state of affairs at the University of Fort Hare to ensure that academic programmes continue unhindered, and that staff, students, and management are free to carry out their respective responsibilities there in a safe environment free from fear and intimidation.

ActionA applauds Professor Buhlungu, the Vice Chancellor, for his outstanding leadership in keeping the university running its academic programmes while preventing criminal activity from having the chance to completely collapse the institution in the absence of action from the Minister of Higher Education.

It is particularly depressing that the important meeting between the minister and the university council, scheduled for May 10, 2024, to resolve the crisis at the institution, was unable to convene due to disagreements over the agenda. This implies that the Minister is not acting quickly enough or seriously enough in regard to the life-or-death circumstances at the University of Fort Hare.

ActionSA supports the management, students, and staff of UFH who continue to uphold the principles of good governance even under these unfortunate circumstances.

ActionSA believes that institutions of higher learning should operate without unnecessary interruptions to allow adequate knowledge transfer and skills development in alignment with the needs of our economy. It is for this reason that we call upon the Minister of Higher Education to prioritise the postponed meeting with Fort Hare and to do so without undue delay.