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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

Active citizenship key to building healthier communities
2014-09-22

Photo: Mamosa Makaya

The Office of Community Engagement in collaboration with Bloem Shelter, hosted a three-day Indaba on active citizenship. The focus of the event was to engage local government leaders, NGOs and social services groups on creating a society that is healthier, safer and more informed.

The over-arching theme of the Indaba centred on the strengthening of family structures, social and health service delivery, spiritual healing and counselling. Amongst the various speakers was Rev Jennifer Samdaan, Minister in the Methodist Church and community activist. During her presentation, ‘Youth, Women and Children at Risk in South Africa', she highlighted the challenges that women and youth in townships and rural areas deal with in their daily lives. One example is physical and sexual violence while commuting to school and work. Rev Samdaan’s organisation has been instrumental in engaging municipal authorities in the region of Kokstad to provide security and lighting on roads where women are most vulnerable to violent attacks as they commute from work.

Community workers discussed their contributions in the fields of marital and family counselling and mental health support services. They discussed the benefits of their collaboration with local judicial bodies and other community leaders to render services to victims of domestic violence.

Rev Billyboy Ramahlele, Director in the Office of Community Engagement, emphasised the role of leadership and the responsibility of political leaders and citizens alike to ensure accountability in the quest to build a healthier society.

Vanessa Booysen, a neonatal consultant for Newborn Care in South Africa, demonstrated the importance of bonding between mothers and their babies. She called attention to the negative effects on the development of babies when separated from their mothers and the future challenges this causes. Modern medicine also leads to fewer women giving birth naturally. Booysen stressed that "it matters how we are born". She encouraged health practitioners to go back to basics in maternal care to lessen the negative effects that pass onto children into adulthood.

The workshop concluded with an exhibition by various groups that showcased the information resources and services offered to communities in the Free State.

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