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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

Bloemfontein Campus hosts annual HELTASA conference
2014-12-09

 

From the left are: Prof Francois Strydom, Director: Academic - Centre for Teaching and Learning, UFS; Dr Lis Lange, Vice-Rector: Academic, UFS; and Prof George Kuh, Adjunct Research Professor of Education Policy at the University of Illinois.

This year, the privilege to host the annual Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) conference was afforded to our university. The event took place on the Bloemfontein Campus from 18 – 21 November 2014, attracting keynote speakers and members from across the world.

HELTASA is a professional association mainly for educators and significant role players in higher education institutions. With its inception in the early 2000s, it has grown to become the premier organisation for teaching and learning in Southern Africa, Dr Amanda Hlengwa, President of HELTASA, pointed out.

A central concern of this body is issues around success within the tertiary sector. The theme of this year, ‘Accessing success: using evidence for change’ served to focus members’ attention on what works and what does not work – as derived from researched evidence.

In a message from Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), he stressed that the task as university teachers “is not simply cognitive gains that ensure graduation success but also intellectual gains that ensure success in life during and after university studies.”

The conference was led by internationally-acclaimed keynote speakers, namely Prof George Kuh, Prof William Grabe and Prof Fredricka Stoller, as well as our own A1 NRF-rated Prof Malanie Walker.

Prof Kuh is Adjunct Research Professor of Education Policy at the University of Illinois and Chancellor’s Professor of Higher Education Emeritus at Indiana University. In his keynote address, Prof Kuh offered valuable lessons from the field to promote student success.

Profs Grabe and Stoller collectively presented the second keynote address that explored how to set up students for success through strategic-reader training. Prof Grabe is Regents’ Professor of Applied Linguistics and Vice President for Research at Northern Arizona University. Prof Stoller is a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, where she teaches in the MA-TESL and PhD in Applied Linguistics programmes.

Prof Walker is a Senior Research Professor at the UFS Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development (CRHED). She is also currently Director of Research Training and a senior researcher in the EU-funded Marie Curie EDUWEL project. In her keynote address, Prof Walker looked at well-being and agency in higher education.

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