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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

An exceptional year at Kovsies — one of the most successful years in academic achievement
2014-12-04

 

The University of the Free State (UFS) had an exceptional year, with many staff members and students performing both nationally and internationally. Considerable progress has also been made in improving the academic standards of the university.

“So far, this has been one of the most successful years in academic achievement. The UFS now has the highest academic pass rate in years, partly as a result of the admission standards which were raised four years ago.

“We now also have the highest rate of research publications, one of the highest publication figures for scholarly books in history, three Mandela Rhodes scholars and several international communication awards”, says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

“The university now attracts top professors from all over the country and other parts of the world and for the first time in many years, two researchers received A-ratings from the National Research Foundation (NRF). This is the first time in the history of the UFS that two A-ratings were awarded simultaneously. The most researchers ever were rated by the NRF this year. After the constant turmoil of a few years ago, Kovsies has now become one of the most stable campuses in South Africa,” Prof Jansen says.

The impartial findings of a recent survey of UFS stakeholders showed that our values are endorsed by 92%; 86% agrees with our vision; 81% agree with our goals; 77% agree with our transformation; 78% believe that we are inclusive; and 78% applauded our overall reputation index. “These figures are very different from a few years ago when the university experienced a crisis,” he says.
 
According to Prof Jansen, the UFS’s financial situation is one of the most stable of all universities in South Africa, with a strong balance sheet and growing financial reserves – way better than before. This is exactly the reason why the UFS received confirmation from the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA) this year that we complied with international standards of reporting for the financial year which ended on 31 December 2013.

“I am also pleased to report that the crisis in the delivery of health services in the Free State province has been resolved due to collaboration between the UFS Management (including the Dean: Health Sciences and Head of the School of Medicine), the Department of Health and the Premier, Mr Ace Magashule. Although the loss of skilled personnel is still a concern, the Dean and Head of the School of Medicine are recreating the Health Services Platform at Universitas Hospital. However, the academic training of no undergraduate medical student or any student in the Health Sciences was influenced by the crisis in the Universitas and Pelonomi Hospitals”, he says.

The UFS is regarded around the world as a model of transformation and reconciliation in the student body. The recent SRC elections are only the most visible example of how far we have come in terms of leadership diversity. “Not a week goes by in which other universities, nationally and abroad, do not come to Kovsies to consult with us on how they can learn from us and deepen their own transformations, especially among students”, Prof Jansen says.

“The UFS will continue its model of inclusive transformation which provides opportunities for study and for employment for all South Africans, including international students and colleagues. We remain committed to our parallel-medium instruction in which Afrikaans remains a language of instruction; we are in fact the only medical school in the country that offers education and training in Afrikaans and not only English. We provide bursaries and overseas study opportunities to all our students, irrespective of race. And our ‘future professors’ programme is richly diverse as we seek the academic stars of the future. But we remain steadfast in our goal of making the UFS a top world university in its academic ambitions and its human commitments,” Prof Jansen says.

 

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