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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

When you are deaf, you have to work very hard to join in the conversation
2014-09-11

 

Dr Magteld Smith

A researcher at the University of the Free State is part of an overseas audiological breakthrough, after receiving a newly developed cochlear implant processor.

Dr Magteld Smith, researcher at the University of the Free State’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology, is the first South African to receive the Rondo cochlear implant processor from Med-El in Austria, manufacturers of cochlear implants and audiology-assisting appliances.

In the field of cochlear implants, the Rondo device is very advanced in the sense that the single-unit device is wireless and easily adapts to the sound of various environments (i.e. nature, conference halls, planes and phones). It also enables the receiver of a cochlear implant to hear more than one sound at a time – something that wasn’t previously possible.

Dr Smith tells about the meaning of the device in just a short time: “For the first time I can take a walk with my dog and hear both our footsteps on the gravel of the dirt road. I can hear my own footsteps, as well as the chirping of three different birds. All at the same time.”

Dr Smith, who is currently devoting her research to the medical-social model of the global organisation, International Classification of Functioning, Disabilities and Health, as well as research in all fields of deafness, relates the anxiety, frustration and depression which formed part of her daily existence. It also complicated and undermined her academic participation.

“Deafness is very traumatic. When you are deaf, you have to work so much harder to compete in a hearing world and to join in the conversation. Because of your deafness you become anxious about misunderstandings in the workplace.”

Dr Smith is working hard and constantly not to take a back seat in the academy due to her deafness. On completion of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship programme, she received a certificate signed by the American president, Barack Obama, and was named as one of the top three researchers among 400 researchers from 192 countries. Only two South Africans are selected every year by the American State and International Institute for Education. 
 
In June this year, she delivered a presentation of her work and research at the 13th International Conference on Cochlear Implants in Munich, Germany. In July this year, she delivered a presentation at the 5th International Conference for Global Hearing Health. In August she was awarded a scholarship from the Golden Key International Honour Society for outstanding scholastic proficiency and academic merit.

“As a child, my parents were told that I was ineducably disabled. Today, I am grateful for the endless speech therapy since my toddler days, and to my dear mother, Jo, and late father, Chris Boshoff, and their firm belief in God which made them believe in me as a person with a congenital deafness. I am grateful for their unconditional love, endless patience, encouragement and support through my long journey in a competitive hearing world. This, together with the help of technology, enabled me to make a significant contribution to the academic world. Everything in my life is undeserved grace, pure kindness.” 
 
 

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