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‘TO THE VICE CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL UNIVERSITY OF VENDA PRIVATE BAG X5050 0950 02 OCTOBER 2015 FROM: POSTGRADUATE COMMITTEE/ SRC ce: MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION: DR BLADE MZIMANDE. DVC ACADEMIC ‘THE REGISTRAR DIRECTOR IN THE OFFICE OF THE VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS DIRECTOR: HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, DIRECTOR: STUDENT AFFAIRS HOD: SRC GOVERNANCE HOD: RESIDENCE DEANS OF THE SCHOOL HODs OF SCHOOL DEPARTMENTS: SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS UNIVEN COUNCIL STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL (SRC) Dear Sir A. CHALLENGES FACED BY SOUTH AFRICAN POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF VENDA. The undersigned Postgraduate students would like to request your office for urgent interventions with regard to challenges and frustrations faced by South African postgraduate students within the university. For the past years we have been struggling under Bantu education, architected by white People. In this democratic dispensation South Afticans are the ones facing more challenges and they are not taken seriously. It is evident that international people always have international meetings with / without South Africans’ knowledge and invitation. They are more privileged and always take advantage that those on management.positions are also internationals (i.e. Principal, Director Research and Innovations, Director International relations, CHETL Director (Who was Dr Ndebele), School Deans, HoDs, SRC Minister of Information, Postgraduate Committee Chairperson h Degrees Committee members, and his Deputy, Schoo! Chairpersons to’ mention a few). South Africans are always not getting fair opportunities to raise their concems and even though they do, their voices are not heard. On the other hand, internationals are heard in every comer. For the past years we hiave been going through challenges of being ill-treated. It is against this backdrop that your office is requested to intervene and respond to our memorandum in order to avoid inconveniences. Your office is further advised to ensure that postgraduate students receive your response within 02 working days which are from 5-6 October 2015. Postgraduate students are also ready to meet and have further discussion with you on the 07! of October 2015. On our meeting held on 02 October 2015 at 13h00 at the University of Venda Stadium, the following questions and points which need clarity were raised: Postgraduate Committee (PGC) was also invited through emails, Unfortunately one of PGC member was going to Zimbabwe. B. QUESTIONS AND POINTS RAISED IN PAIN: 1. Issue of presenting proposals to the different committees is disadvantaging local South Africans because the panels are headed by internationals and their international students presents even when their supervisors are not present and this shows that there is no fairness since the supervisor is the one supposed to take notes and advise the student on the way forward. 2. Masters and PhDs proposals are going through a lot of committees for approval (i.e. ‘Seminar Series (1* stage within the school), School High Degrees Committee (2™ stage also in the school) and Univen High Degrees Committees. This is causing lot of unnecessary delays, especially for a local South African. 3. We demand to know the criteria used for appointing Senior Mentors because as we enquired amongst ourselves, we found out that none of South African Postgraduate Students knows where those positions were advertised. To our surprise, all Senior ‘Mentors are internationals and they were appointed under former Director of Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning: Chetl, Dr Ndebele, an international, ‘This is contrary to what the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University used to tell us that the university is growing its own timber. For that reason, we demand that payments of all those senior mentors should be frozen until the transparent mechanisms are put in place. Those senior mentors who were appointed behind ied disadvantaged local South Africans by closed doors should be replaced by quali merit means of checking their academic performance. Mr. Knowledge Shumbe (Senior Mentor) of School of Management Sciences needs to be replaced with an mmediate effect because even last year he was a senior mentor and not delivering, SA mentors who are under him reported that he is full of discrimination and favouritism. They stated that he doesn’t verify work of international mentors, but on SA's mentors, he checks word by word and makes it difficult to accept their work for payment submission. He also doesn’t respond to his subordinates who are local South Africans when they send him messages for clarity. All he does is to get onfine, read the message and log off without a response while international mentors are fed by information.