VC’s Post: Accommodation and xenophobia at Wits

We are well into the 2017 academic year, following a successful registration period in which we met our enrolment targets. We are facing some challenges which we are watching closely, and in this online video I elaborate on two – ­student accommodation and xenophobia.

[WATCH] Prof. Adam Habib speaks on student accommodation and xenophobia.

The shortage of student accommodation is a major issue in the higher education sector, including at Wits, where we have only 6 150 beds against an estimated demand of 13 000. We are in conversation with the province and others to try to secure nearby buildings which could be converted into residences. For now, all of our beds are completely occupied and we are increasingly using external service providers. We will begin accrediting appropriate service providers so that we can at least monitor and influence the external circumstances in which students are housed.

Xenophobia is a real concern in our country with violence breaking out in recent weeks. This is something that as a University, we should condemn – ­we must ensure that international staff and students are protected.

My next newsletter will focus on how we plan to continue implementing Wits’ strategic priorities.

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Thank you

Professor Adam Habib

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Wits University