20 March 2024 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo SUPPLIED
Off-Campus Accommodation Policy
The Off-Campus Accommodation Policy prioritises quality and safety for students.

In a move to prioritise student welfare and ensure high-quality off-campus accommodation, the University of the Free State (UFS) has introduced a comprehensive Off-Campus Accommodation Policy. This policy sets out rigorous accreditation procedures and minimum requirements for private housing providers catering to UFS students.

Naledi Ntsuku, a Higher Certificate in Music Performance student residing in Victoria Kamano student accommodation near the Bloemfontein Campus, expresses her support for the initiative, stating: “Having access to safe and comfortable off-campus accommodation enhances our overall student experience and contributes positively to our academic journey.”

Quintin Koetaan, Senior Director: Housing and Residence Affairs at the UFS, adds, “This policy reinforces our commitment to providing students with conducive living environments, both on and off campus. It sets clear standards and procedures to ensure the well-being and safety of our students.”

Key highlights of the policy include:

Accreditation Process: Accreditation is granted annually, contingent upon meeting specified requirements. Providers must submit various documents, including property deeds, building plans, and tax clearance certificates.

Minimum Requirements: Providers must adhere to standards outlined in the Minimum Accreditation Requirements document, ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks.

Transparent Procedures: The policy emphasises fairness and consistency in accreditation decisions, providing avenues for addressing appeals and complaints.

NSFAS Funding: Accredited off-campus accommodation may qualify for financial aid from NSFAS, further supporting students’ access to quality housing.

Maintenance and Student Well-being: The policy mandates compliance with relevant legislation regarding construction, repairs, and maintenance, prioritising students’ academic activities and well-being.

Disciplinary Measures: Students residing in accredited off-campus accommodation must adhere to university policies. Transgressions may lead to disciplinary action as per UFS Rules on Student Discipline.

Ensuring quality and compliance for student welfare

The UFS Off-Campus Accommodation Policy reaffirms the university’s dedication to students’ welfare beyond campus boundaries. It aims to create a conducive living and learning environment, ensuring all enrolled students have access to safe and comfortable accommodation.

The policy states: “Students living in accredited off-campus accommodation are expected to live in accordance with the values of the UFS. The UFS policies, regulations and procedures shall also apply to students who live in accredited off-campus accommodation.” This is in alignment with the university’s commitment to Vision 130 which is the strategic plan to reposition the university by its 130th anniversary in 2034, centred around values such as excellence, innovation and impact, accountability, care, social justice, and sustainability.

By adhering to these guidelines, the UFS strives to provide a supportive and enriching experience for its student community, fostering success both academically and personally.

Click to view documentClick here for more information and access to the full policy document.

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