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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

UFS awarded five South African Research Chairs
2016-09-30

Description: South African Research Chairs Tags: South African Research Chairs

From left to right, Prof Maryke Labuschagne,
Prof Corli Witthuhn (Vice-Rector: Research),
Prof Hendrik Swart and Prof Felicity Burt.

The UFS was awarded five SARChI (South African Research Chairs Initiative) research chairs, the main goal of which is to promote research excellence. In addition, there has been an increase in the rating of the University’s researchers as the result of raised academic standards over the past few years, in line with the UFS’s Academic Project. As of 2016 the UFS has 127 NRF-rated researchers.

The following research chairs have been awarded to the UFS since 2013:

Prof Hendrik Swart from the Department of Physics is the research chair of Solid State Luminescent and Advanced Materials (2013-2017). Prof Swart’s research may assist in reducing vulnerability and contributing to poverty alleviation by providing affordable lighting for people in rural areas through fabricating phosphors and the development of nanophosphors.

Prof Maryke Labuschagne from the Department of Plant Sciences is the research chair of Disease Resistance and Quality in Field Crops (2016-2020). Prof Labuschagne believes that food security is one of the key factors for stability and prosperity on the continent. Her research and that of her students focuses on the genetic improvement of food security crops in Africa, including such staples as maize and cassava.

Research Chairs have been designed, to attract
and retain excellence in research and innovation
at South African universities.

Prof Melanie Walker, from the Department of Higher Education and Human Development, was awarded the research chair from 2013 to 2017. Prof Walker’s research interrogates the role of higher education in order to advance human development and justice in education and society, especially in relation to severe inequalities and poverty. Significantly, it asks what kind of societies we want, what is important in a democratic society, and thus, what kind of higher education is valuable, relevant and desirable.

Prof Felicity Burt from the Department of Medical Microbiology was recently awarded the research chair from 2016 to 2020, to investigate medically significant vector-borne and zoonotic viruses currently; to define associations between these viruses and specific disease manifestations that have previously not been described in our region, to increase awareness of these pathogens; to further our understanding of host immune responses, which should facilitate development of novel treatments or vaccines and drug discovery.

The Humanities without Borders: Trauma, History and Memory research chair was awarded from 2016 to 2020. The Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation will use this research chair to investigate historical trauma within two African contexts – those of South Africa and Rwanda. The research hopes to bring insight into the role that memory plays in the formation of the experience of trauma, and to bring about healing of the trauma.

Research Chairs have been designed by the Department of Science and Technology, together with the National Research Foundation, to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation at South African public universities.

 

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