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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

A position statement by the School of Medicine, UFS, regarding the crisis in health care in the Free State
2009-05-27

The executive management of the School of Medicine (SOM) at the University of the Free State (UFS) and its senior members wish to express their grave concern at the way the financial crisis in the Free State has negatively impacted on the provision of health care to the population. The unavailability of goods and services at every level of care has become so severely compromised that the staff of the SOM can no longer remain silent on this issue. By remaining silent it may be construed that we are either indifferent to, or even accepting the situation. Neither is true. The SOM can in no way condone, sanction or accept the current situation of health care in the Free State.

Other concerns expressed by the SOM include:

  • Medical services have been severely compromised due to the disintegrating primary health care system in the FS. This has resulted in patients who were in need of more advanced levels of medical care not being referred appropriately or timeously to level two hospitals and from there for tertiary care. Inpatient as well as outpatient numbers are steadily declining and the tendency now is to fill fewer beds with critically ill or terminally ill patients. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable patients for training and examination purposes.
     
  • It becomes more difficult to attract and retain experienced and suitably qualified medical specialists interested in an academic career, due to the inability to provide prospective career opportunities. This is particularly the case in the surgical disciplines.
     
  • It is also becoming more difficult to attract and appoint highly qualified registrars (future specialists) since the reputation of this SOM has been compromised by the negative publicity created by the financial difficulties of the FSDoH. Registrars form the backbone of the clinical work force in all teaching hospitals. If vacant posts cannot be filled in time service provision, as well as undergraduate teaching are severely jeopardised.
     
  • As a direct consequence of the rationing of health care, fewer surgical procedures are being performed. The point may soon be reached where registrars in the surgical disciplines may not get sufficient hands-on experience to allow them to qualify within the required time frame.
     
  • Non-payment of accounts to service providers and suppliers including the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS), maintenance contracts and industry will severely compromises health care and future loyalty, goodwill and provision of critical services.
     
  • The dwindling number of qualified and experienced nurses in the public (and private) health care sector is an ongoing unresolved issue. Despite the fact that primary health care is mainly nurse-driven, nursing colleges were closed during the previous decade. These colleges must now be re-commissioned at high cost adding to the financial burden.
     
  • The morale of health care workers at all levels of health care has reached an all-time low
     
  • It is becoming increasingly difficult to conduct meaningful research in all disciplines due to staff shortages and lack of funding.

See attachment for the full statement on by the School of Medicine, regarding the crisis in health care in the Free State.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za
26 May 2009
 

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