Digital era rules over WSU digs

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) has made the move to an automated, digital room allocation system.

The university said the move was prompted by a number of reports that the allocation of residences was done in a corrupt manner and that students felt that they had to pay bribes in a bid to have rooms allocated to them.

The university, which has an enrolment of over 31000 students, said it had developed its own system using in-house developers.

University spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo said the digital programme was developed last year and had been fully adopted on all campuses.

However, there were “challenges” at some campuses

“As the university we are behind other universities in terms of physical infrastructure and digital systems, but we are making some serious strides in catching up. Most universities have been using digital allocation systems and we are only using it this year,” Tukwayo said.

She said the university’s criteria in allocating rooms for students was based on academic excellence and the distance between students’ homes and the university.

These criteria were programmed into the new system.

The recent three-week class boycott had seen students demanding the scrapping of the system, but the university stood firm on that point.

The boycott caught the attention of Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor, who has sent a task team to the university in a bid to find workable solutions.

Yesterday Pandor said her team had briefed her on the issues.

She welcomed the resumption of classes at the university.

“I am pleased to note the Walter Sisulu university has resumed academic programmes and that my team, led by the director-general, has been able to assist the university to address the issues raised by students. I am deeply concerned at the violence and destruction of property that accompanied these student protests, which are not warranted in a legitimate protest,” said Pandor.