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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

Council concerned over health crisis
2009-06-08

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) has come out in support of doctors and health professionals attached to its Faculty of Health Sciences who expressed their concerns about the health crisis in the Free State.

At its meeting on Friday, 5 June 2009 the Council said it shared the concerns of health professionals that the quality of patient care and the quality of training being provided at the health faculties across the country are being compromised.

Earlier last week doctors and other health professionals of the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences issued a statement highlighting the seriousness of the crisis in health care provision in the Free State Province, warning that the system was on the verge of collapse.

According to the Council of the UFS, a petition will be addressed to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education calling for urgent steps to be taken to correct the deteriorating situation in the province’s health care system.

In other decisions, the UFS Council also decided to confer an honorary doctorate on Judge Louis Harms, the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Judge Harms is an international specialist in the field of Intellectual Property Law and has been actively involved in legislation and international agreements on intellectual property law, including the Designs Act, Trademarks Act and Patents and Copyrights Acts.

The motivation quotes one of his fellow jurists as saying that: “Harms is one of the greatest South African lawyers of the last 50 years. He is an intellectual giant who has made an impressive and profound contribution to the development of South African law: He is erudite, visionary, astute and principled.”

An honorary doctorate will also be conferred on geologist and expert on the geology of the Karoo Supergroup, Mr Johan Loock, for his distinguished efforts towards promoting the earth sciences and specifically geology, particularly in the context of the Free State.

Mr Loock has had two Karoo fossils named after him, which is a particular honour in the scientific world of palaeontology. He was employed by the UFS for 32 years and has close ties with the Free State in terms of his wide field of research interests.

The motivation further states that “the man affectionately and respectfully known as Oom Loock, or Malome, has selflessly given of his vast knowledge, expertise and insights into the physical and cultural heritage of the Free State to all who would learn from, and with, him”.

A Council Medal will be awarded to Prof. Johan Grobbelaar from the Department of Plant Sciences at the UFS. During his time at the UFS he has been a pioneer in many areas, including the first research expedition to Marion Island, the first PhD about research on Marion Island, the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Sciences as well as the establishment of the Centre for Environmental Management.

Council also decided to refer a report from the iGubu consultants regarding aspects of diversity in student residences to the Executive Committee of the Council so that the benefit of the participation of the rector-designate Prof Jonathan Jansen could be obtained and for further participation and consultation with relevant stakeholders.

In another decision the Council also extended the term of appointment of Prof. Tienie Crous as Dean: Economic and Management Sciences for an additional term of five years.

The Council furthermore appointed Prof. Hugh Patterton as the director of the strategic academic cluster dealing with advanced biomolecular research and Prof. Wijnand Swart as Director of the strategic academic cluster dealing with technologies for sustainable crop industries in semi-arid regions.

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