Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Wednesday declared an end to two days of student protests following “ongoing engagement” with management.
Students had been protesting against the university’s “first-come, first-served” policy for residence space.
The university said in a statement that there were problems with accommodation every year, but that this had intensified this year because of the increased number of students returning to university.
This was due to the university scrapping a rule that students with outstanding debt could not return until they had paid. It was agreed that they would repay their debt once they started working.
The allocation of residence space was completed in October 2015, as was the case annually, before the university council made the decision on debt relief.
The university said its admissions policy stipulated that accommodation was allocated to students who came from outside the metro, except in exceptional cases. Preference was given to first-year students. Students’ socio-economic circumstances and their academic record were also considered.
Dean of Students Mxolisi Ncapayi said the university was trying to address the accommodation problems.
“No student has been turned away and we are temporarily accommodating students who meet the requirements,” he said.