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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

Project aims to boost science pass rate
2009-01-19

 
Attending the launch of the HP grant of about R1 million to the UFS are, from the left: Mr Leon Erasmus, Country Manager for HP Technology Services in South Africa, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS, and Mr Cobus van Breda, researcher at the UFS's Centre for Education Development and manager of the project.
Photo: Lacea Loader
The University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP), wants to boost the pass rate of its science students by using mobile technology.

The UFS is one of only 15 universities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the only university in South Africa to receive a grant from HP to promote mobile technology for teaching in higher education valued at USD$ 100,000 (or about R1 million). Altogether 80 universities from 28 countries applied for the grant.

“Last year HP invited a number of selected universities to submit proposals in which they had to explain how they are going to utilise mobile technologies in the redesign of a course that is presented at the university. The proposal of the Centre for Education Development (CED) at the UFS entitled “Understanding Physics through data logging” was accepted,” says Mr Cobus van Breda, researcher at CED and manager of the project.

According to Mr van Breda, students who do not meet the entrance requirements for the three-year B.Sc. programme have to enroll for the four-year curriculum with the first year actually preparing them for the three-year curriculum.

In order to increase the success rate of these students, the project envisages to enhance their understanding of science principles by utilising the advantages of personal computer (PC) tablet technology and other information and communication technologies (ICT) to support effective teaching and learning methodology.

“By using PC tablet technology in collaboration with data-logging software, a personal response system, the internet and other interactive ICT applications, an environment different from a traditional teaching milieu is created. This will consequently result in a different approach to addressing students’ learning issues,” says Mr van Breda.

The pilot project was launched during the fourth term of 2008 when 130 first-year B.Sc. students (of the four-year curriculum) did the practical component of the physics section of the Concepts in General Science (CGS) module by conducting experiments in a computerised laboratory, using data-logging software amongst other technology applications. “The pilot project delivered good results and students found the interactive application very helpful,” says Mr van Breda.

”The unique feature of the latter is the fact that real-life data can be collected with electronic sensors and instantly presented as computer graphs. It can then be analysed and interpreted immediately, thus more time can be devoted to actual Science principles and phenomena and less time on time-consuming data processing,” says Mr van Breda.

The CGS module can be seen as a prerequisite for further studies in physics at university level and in this regard it is of essence to keep looking for new models of learning and teaching which can result in student success. This year the theoretical and practical component of the physics section of the CGS programme will be done in an integrated manner.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
16 January 2009
 

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