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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

One, two, three – is your thesis done?
2016-08-26

Description: three-minute-thesis  Tags: three-minute-thesis

Winners of the UFS Three-Minute-Thesis competition.
From the left: Thutukile Jita, Natural/Social Sciences
PhD winner; Saheed Sabiu, Natural/Health Sciences
and audience-favourite PhD winner;
Matseliso Mkotywa, master’s audience-favourite
winner; Zingisile Mbo, Natural/Health Sciences
master’s winner.
Photo: Charl Devenish

“Next time you have three minutes to spare, try to formulate your master’s or doctoral thesis,” says Dr Henriëtte van den Berg, Director of the Postgraduate School at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The much anticipated Three-Minute-Thesis (3MT) Competition took place at the UFS Bloemfontein Campus on Friday 19 August 2016. Diverse and interesting research projects were discussed, giving one a glimpse into months and even years of hard work and dedication.

A learning opportunity for candidates
The 3MT competition is an international event founded at the University of Queensland, Australia. It is divided into master’s and PhD categories.  At the UFS competition, the master’s section was dominated by the Medical and Natural Sciences, in contrast with the PhD section’s focus on Social Sciences. “The competition is a learning opportunity for our UFS candidates,” says Dr Henriëtte van den Berg.

Thought-provoking research presented
Interesting methodologies and research questions sustained the academic excellence the candidates pride themselves in. Saheed Sabiu, PhD candidate and winner, constructed his thesis around, Waste to Health: Corn silk in the Management of Kidney Diseases. “Use corn silk (white fibre around corn) in the same manner as a tea bag, to help manage kidney diseases,” says Sabiu.

Audience members also had the opportunity to ask the candidates questions relating to their thesis topic.

Winners at the event:
•    Master’s winner: Zingisile Mbo
•    PhD winner: Natural/ Health Science: Saheed Sabiu
•    PhD winner: Natural/Social Sciences: Thutukile Jita

The winners of each category received a cash prize and will represent the UFS at the national 3MT competition, hosted by the UFS in November this year.

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