Wits University extends its data services for the third year running, to support students with blended learning model.
In a walk back from an announcement made at the beginning of the 2023 academic year, Wits University has asked service providers to continue supplying monthly data allowances to registered students.
The beginning of April 2023 saw students on the Cell C, MTN, Telkom Mobile and Vodacom networks access 20GB’s of AnyTime and NightTime data, a combined 40GB’s a month.
This comes after protests in March 2023 led by the student representative council (SRC), the #WitsShutdown was centered on financial exclusion and the ongoing accommodation crisis. An additional demand made by protesting students included the continuation of a data allowance.
Wits student applying for the 2023 data packages. Photo: Lesedi Maako
Rachel Selogiloe from Wits Information Communication Technology (ICT) said, “It will not be easy like last year 2022 where every registered Wits student received data packages. There will be systems put in place to check eligibility such as where a student stays and their area of affordability.”
For instance, students residing at all Wits residences will not be eligible to receive the data packages as they have access to the internet connection provided by the university. Along with those students have to apply.
Wits Master’s degree student in International Relations, Sbabalo Ntloko, has already put in his application and said, “I don’t feel safe as I always leave campus late at night doing my school
Second-year student doing a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Andrew Brunsden, told Wits Vuvuzela “I stay in Noordheuwel, Krugersdorp which is 26km away from Wits and I can only come to campus when I have classes. I am not able to access the Wits Wi-Fi constantly and so getting this data will benefit me and my schoolwork.”
FEATURED IMAGE: Wits website showing students how to apply for the 2023 data packages
- Wits Vuvuzela, Wits SRC: Students cannot be displaced on our watch, March 2023
- Wits Vuvuzela, Wits rolls out data for second block, May 2021
- Wits Vuvuzela, If it’s not data it’s network: the costs of being an online student, December 2021