Wits SRC urge students to work hard in their studies to avoid being academical excluded at the end of the year.

The Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) have initiated a series of discussions with students to address the issue of academic exclusions.

The Borderline Discussion series kicked off on Tuesday, July 24, at Sunnyside women residence in Braamfontein attracting some seventy students.

According to the SRC deputy president, Tshenelo Leshika, 3 324 students were academically excluded last year. Of these, 1 359 had their exclusions waived and 777 were readmitted after successful appeals. While the SRC had expected close to 2 000 students to lodge appeals, only 894 did.

“We urge students to seek help as soon as they realise that they’re having challenges. We have Counselling and Careers Development Unit that helps students who are facing different issues which subsequently affect them academically,” Leshika said.

Leshika told Wits Vuvuzela that historically the SRC and faculties have not done enough to educate students about how to appeal, when to appeal and how difficult it is to return to the system if a student chooses not to appeal.

Wits Postgraduate Association vice-chairperson and MSc Bioethics and health law student, Joshua Ndlangamandla, shared his experience of being academically excluded with the attendees.

“I have been excluded twice before because I wasn’t attending classes. I was always out and about parting and drinking. As the result, I failed and was academically excluded and went home,” Ndlangamandla said.
He encourages student to manage their time wisely and approach lecturers for assistance if they are struggling with their studies.

First-year BCom student, Caroline Ledwaba, said the discussion was informative because in first semester she struggled academically and didn’t know where to go for help.

“When I arrived here (Wits) I struggled to adjust to the environment, school work was overwhelming at times and I didn’t know who to approach for help. But I’m glad I managed to pass my first semester,” the 19-year-old said.

Leshika explained that SRC is engaging with faculties to be proactive in assisting students who are struggling academically as soon as possible. The Borderline discussions will continue at different residences across the university until Thursday, August 9.

FEATURED IMAGE: Students had the opportunity to ask the SRC questions regarding academic exclusions. Photo: Takalani Sioga