THE next academic year will begin between 15 March and 15 April next year.

This was announced by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande during a media briefing in Tshwane yesterday.

He said the department was aiming for all institutions to complete this academic year by the end of February.

Efforts will be made to ensure all institutions meet requirements.

“The detailed management of these two processes across the system will be communicated by the department once all the necessary consultations have been completed,” he said

Nzimande said since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country was moving to lockdown level 2, institutions had increased the number of students allowed to return to campus.

NOMVULA MOKONYANE LIED!

“According to the criteria developed, I’m happy to report that under level 2, it will be possible for us to allow for up to a maximum of 66% of students to return to university campuses,” he said.

“This will be done in terms of the detailed Covid-19 management plans in place.”across the sector and ensuring the continued safety of students and staff.”

He said students who had been prioritised to return under level 3 but couldn’t be accommodated would return first.

“Students in all years of study who require laboratory and technical equipment to complete the academic year will also be prioritised along with students in all years of study who require practical placements, experiential learning or work place-based learning to complete the academic year,” he said.

Nzimande took a jab at UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, who had made allegations of fraud.

“We know he has business interests. He must come out publicly with his business interests.”

Holomisa responded to Nzimande’s remarks and said he would not be derailed.

“He is feeling the pinch.” The president, I’m sure will verify the authenticity or otherwise of the allegations of interference,” he said.