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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

Increase in external research funding is proof of confidence in UFS
2014-12-09

The university’s sourcing of research funding from external organisations has received a significant boost this year. The growth in financing received from the National Research Foundation (NRF) alone increased from R24 million in 2013 to over R50 million in 2014.

“Because tertiary institutions can no longer survive on state subsidies alone, they are increasingly looking at alternative ways of supplementing their income. Income from these sources is utilised for various programmes and projects, with strong emphasis on research,” says Dr Glen Taylor, Senior Director: Research Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

A source which provided considerable income for the UFS was the presentation of short learning programmes. The growth in income for the learning programmes this year was more than 30% compared to the income in 2012. “Income from short learning programmes is used to support the core business of the UFS,” says Dr Taylor.

A number of major research contracts were entered into during the course of the year. The UFS, for example, serves as an agency for a research contract of USD$10.5 million awarded by the World Bank to the Southern African Development Corporation (SADC). The contract is managed by the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) and involves research on the management and formation of policies on underground water sources across boundaries.

Another substantial grant is the financing received from the Water Research Commission. The money is used to conduct research on the sustainable utilisation of water, as well as ways for the better utilisation thereof for the development of communities. The grant to the UFS for successful projects amounts to R5.5 million on average per year.

The UFS also has contracts with national and international partners. We conduct research of more than R30 million on the behalf of several mining companies, such as Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Exxaro and Goldfields Ltd. “Furthermore, we also have research funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA, the European Union and several bilateral research agreements with countries such as Brazil, China and India, as well as contracts with Sasol and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC),” says Dr Taylor.

“We have tremendous interest from several companies wishing to finance the programmes, projects and intellectual property of the UFS, which is proof that our research is recognised and makes a difference,” he says.

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