manyi-habib Wits University vice chancellor Adam Habib has rejected calls by Progressive Professionals Forum leader Jimmy Manyi for lecturers to develop their own course content, to lower tuition fees. “He clearly doesn’t understand how universities are run. You can’t just produce content like that. This is not high school,” Habib told News24. Content presented to students had undergone vigorous processes and this was how higher learning institutions functioned. Manyi said he had been told that content cost universities 50% of their expenditure. Habib said he was probably referring to the millions of rands universities spent on journals, which he said were invaluable. “Replace them with what? It will just make a mockery of our institutions and make South Africa the laughing stock of the world. Furthermore, his suggestion will just collapse the university system. We will not be a globally accredited institution.” Habib said peer reviews were an important part of research. Manyi needed to find out how the system worked before he made comments about university fees. “I am not being arrogant and saying there should be no public discourse, but it must be reasonable. What he is saying is that drivers in South Africa do not need licences to operate motor vehicles. Those who have driven a little go-kart in the mall can also drive cars.” Habib said he had been feeling nervous after learning that property, including part of a law library, at the University of KwaZulu Natal had been set on fire during protests against a potential fee hike for 2017. “With people just expressing uninformed views on the issue, government, students and universities need to continue talking. If we don’t find real solutions we could destroy the university system.” SOURCE: News24