Higher Education and Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Monday announced criteria for returning staff and students to public and private universities.
Nzimande says all universities should follow a risk-adjusted strategy to phase in the reopening of activities on campuses. Different levels of return are needed to manage the gradual resumption of activities.
Based on their risk-adjusted plan for each level, institutions will need to make arrangements for the students identified to return to the campuses according to the criteria for that level.
Institutions have two weeks from the date of the start of a level to ensure that all preparations under the health and safety protocols take place and that campuses and residences are ready to receive students back.
This period will also enable staff and students to make safe travel arrangements.
International students who returned to their homelands during the restriction will only be allowed to return to campuses when Level 1 of the strategy is announced.
International students will be supported through external learning support until they return.
Level 4 involves the limited and controlled return of students to campuses :
• Final-year students in programs that require clinical training return to campuses.
• Other students are supported through long-distance multimodal teaching, assessment and assessment until they can return to campus.
At level 3, a maximum of 33% of students return to each campus for teaching, study and assessment in accordance with these criteria:
• All groups that have already returned during Level 4;
• Students in the final year of their respective programs, graduating this year;
• Students in any academic year who require clinical training in their programs, when campuses adhere to the safety protocols; and
• Postgraduate students who need laboratory and other technical equipment to undertake their studies.
At level 2, a maximum of 66% of students return to the campus for teaching, study and assessment according to these criteria:
• All groups that have already returned or are prioritized to return to Level 3 but could not be accommodated on campuses before;
• Students in any year of study who require laboratory and technical equipment to complete their academic year;
• Students in any academic year who require practical placements or experiential or workplace-based studies to complete their academic year (provided that the workplaces and platforms are open and prepared); and
• First-year students in all undergraduate programs.
At Level 1, 100% of students can return to campus.
Healthy distance and health protocols will still be needed.