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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

Work clouds and rhizomatic learning – Prof Johannes Cronjé teaches through technology in inaugural lecture
2014-09-29

Prof Johannes Cronjé 

Prof Johannes Cronjé has been appointed as visiting professor in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The driving force behind his appointment is to develop young and upcoming scholars in the field of online and blended learning at our university.The title of Prof Cronjé’s inaugural lecture, ‘Tablets, Painkillers or Snake Oil – a Remedy for Education?’ suggested a compelling event. Prof Cronjé did not disappoint.

“We live in a world where we carry more information in our pockets than in our entire head,” Prof Cronjé remarked. Interesting fact: an iPhone 4 has 16 million times more processing power than the Apollo 11 – the spacecraft that put the first man on the moon.

If students carry this much processing power in their hands, what should we be teaching students? Prof Cronjé asked. “I believe the answer to that is: we should be teaching them to teach themselves.”

Presenting his inaugural lecture in the same way as he would to his students, Prof Cronjé had the entire audience within minutes vigorously participating in the event.

Prof Cronjé advocates a process called rhizomatic learning. Knowledge, he explained, grows in a similar way to rhizomes’ roots – inseparably connected and seemingly without beginning or end. “Learning is a social aspect: people learn from one another.”

Making use of freely-available online applications, Prof Cronjé demonstrated the power of technology in the classroom. “My objective is to use technology to make people enthusiastic and motivated about the learning process.” Using their smartphones, tablets and laptops, the audience could effortlessly participate through connecting to each other by means of a virtual work cloud. “Knowledge is being created in the room as it happens,” Prof Cronjé explained, “motivating you to participate in this learning experience.”

“There are three things you need for group work to be successful: a mutual goal, individual responsibility and positive interdependence. Then it is real cooperative learning,” Prof Cronjé concluded.

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