The tweet that caused confusion.

The tweet that caused confusion. Image: Emelia Motsai

By Emelia Motsai and Dineo Bendile

The decision to allow international students to pay their fees in instalments has not been made, despite the Wits SRC saying so in a tweet.

The acting head of the Wits international office, Gita Patel said the matter was under discussion and had not yet been finalised.

[pullquote align=”right”]“We agree that we reported prematurely.”[/pullquote]

On July 26, the Wits SRC tweeted from their account, “MAJOR WIN from our fee negotiations meeting today: International Students will pay fees in instalments, no longer full amount at once!!!” Some students went to the international office to confirm but were confused when the international office told them they did not know about “such developments”.

Wits SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa admitted that the SRC should not have sent out the tweet.

“We agree that we reported prematurely,” said Mgudlwa.

Mgudlwa said after a fees meeting on July 26 between the SRC and the University management meeting, the SRC felt confident because management had agreed that international students paying 100 percent of their fees upfront was a problem.

He said it was rare for them and management to agree on an issue, so they were confident it was a “done deal”.

Mgudlwa said the final decision would be taken at a FINCO (Finance Committe) meeting tomorrow and he will be representing the SRC there.

Pearl Pillay, the SRC international relations officer, said any decision taken at the meeting can be over turned by Senate and currently the SRC does not know what conditions will be if the proposal is passed.

Patel said international students have to pay their fees upfront as a security measure: “If an international student deregisters, we have no way of tracking those funds again.