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29 March 2019 | Story Lacea Loader

No deregistration of students at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be effected until after the Financial Appeals Committee has concluded its process on 5 April 2019.

During a meeting between the university management and the Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) today, the following agreement was reached:

  1. The date for the submission of appeals has been extended to Tuesday 2 April 2019 at 12:00. No further extension will be given. The application form for the Financial Appeals Committee has previously been sent to the ufs4life email addresses of all provisionally registered students.
  2. Students who have appealed their National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) outcomes will not be deregistered while awaiting the result of the outcome of their appeal.
  3. Verified final-year students who are provisionally registered will not be deregistered. This will be subject to verification by the Financial Appeals Committee. These students must also submit an appeal.
  4. All other categories of students must submit their appeals to the Financial Appeals Committee.

NB: The documentation mentioned above must be submitted to the Student Finance Office as indicated on the financial appeals form sent to students via their ufs4life email address.

The UFS has taken a pro-poor approach to assist students who are academically deserving. With this approach, the university’s fee structure is much less than that of many public institutions of higher learning in the country. Senior students are also supported through a provisional registration process that grants them the opportunity to pay a reduced amount in order to register, enabling them to fully participate in all activities while extension is provided to secure the necessary funding for their studies.

The university has made a number of concessions to ensure that students are not financially excluded during the 2019 academic year. Many of these concessions were raised by the ISRC on behalf of students and was agreed upon by the university management.  

These concessions include:

  1. Students who have confirmed NSFAS funding for 2019 with historic debt, are to secure registration. This has taken place before the announcement on 24 March 2019 by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, that the historic debt of NSFAS students will be settled by the department.

     

  2. Students in the missing middle who received a gap grant in 2018, have been assisted to pay a lesser amount to register fully for 2019.

     

  3. Students with historic debt who are not receiving the gap grant have also been assisted to register for 2019. Acceptable payment plans for these students have been agreed upon with the university’s Student Finance Office.

     

  4. First-time entering students were assisted with a reduced first payment to enable them to register for 2019.

     

  5. Final-year students with historic debt of less than R20 000 who could not have been assisted in any of the above concessions explained above were allowed to register.

     

  6. Students who are provisionally registered and who could not find the necessary financial means, had the opportunity to submit appeals to the Financial Appeals Committee by 29 March 2019 to secure their registration. This committee comprises representatives of the university management, as well as members of the ISRC. This committee is scheduled to meet on 5 April 2019.

The above is evidence of the multi-layered efforts by the university to support academic deserving students as far as it is practically possible in order to avoid financial exclusion. Additionally, the university’s Student Finance Office has since the beginning of the academic year communicated extensively on the process with students who are at risk of being deregistered.  

Historically, less than 0,5% of registered students at the UFS are not able to find the necessary means to secure their registration.

To support students in their academic efforts, all matters pertaining to registration should be concluded by the end of the first term. A cut-off date is set by which all registration processes – including concessions – are to be concluded. This date – 31 March 2019 – has already been set in 2018, which is the result of consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including the IRSC.

This cut-off date has now been extended to Tuesday 2 April 2019 at 12:00.

Released by:

Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Marketing)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393



News Archive

Asive humbled by new responsibility
2017-09-27

Description: TEDxUFS   Tags: TEDxUFS

Asive Dlanjwa, President of the Student Representative
Council (SRC) on the Bloemfontein Campus, and Pura
Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs, during the
announcement of the 2017/2018 SRC.
Photo: Johan Roux

Nothing humbles him more than the fact that thousands of students had chosen to put their weight, hopes, and dreams behind him. The emotions Asive Dlanjwa felt when he was announced as the new President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) on the Bloemfontein Campus reveals something about his character.

He clearly understands the weight of the responsibility on his shoulders. Asive, who loves the church and cycling, says he felt a variety of emotions when he was announced as president on 31 August 2017 at the Thakaneng Bridge.

“It was an exciting feeling, but more than anything, it was such a humbling feeling; humbled not only by the excitement of the students when I was announced, but also by the fact that thousands of students had chosen to put their weight, hopes, and dreams behind me!”

Two main objectives

Asive and his SRC have two main objectives – to improve access to the university and advance the integration of our off-campus students into the greater campus community. The Bachelor of Commerce student from Umtata says there are several issues and initiatives his SRC will be tackling – all of them flowing from these objectives.

Including off-campus students

Asive says the SRC will seek to improve access to the university and its various offerings, and to also provide the necessary support to ensure their success. “Also within this objective would be to decisively deal with all forms of exclusion, from academic to financial to social and cultural exclusions perpetuated by systems and policies.”

With regards to off-campus students, he says university life previously revolved around residence life. He means the remains of that are still evident, to the detriment of the greater student community who are off-campus students.

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