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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

State of our campuses: UFS extends vacation as from 28 September until 7 October 2016
2016-09-28

In solidarity with the call for free education for the poor and missing middle, a discussion was held with the University Management Committee this morning, in consultation with the student leadership, and after careful assessment of operational matters on all three campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS), we agreed upon the following:
 
1.    All classes, tests, and assignments will be suspended until Friday 7 October 2016. This means that the university will close on Wednesday 28 September 2016 for an extended vacation until 7 October 2016. The academic programme will resume on Monday 10 October 2016.
                     
2.    This will allow the entire university time to demonstrate solidarity, in collaboration with student leadership, academic and support staff, and the broader community in support of free higher education for the poor and missing middle.
                  
3.    The administration of the university will continue on Thursday 29
September 2016, and staff will have access to their offices to plan the additional academic support for students, to consider the re-scheduling of the academic calendar, to engage with the Department of Higher Education and Training in relation to the students’ demands, and to continue with support services during the extended vacation.
 
4.    The university management and student leadership will also, over the next three days, engage in discussions to provide for a platform that is conducive to continued collaboration between students and the university leadership.
 
5.    The suspension of tests, classes, and assignments will also allow time for a social compact and code of ethics for protests to be agreed upon and signed between student leadership and the university management.

 In respect of the Qwaqwa Campus, some protesting students yesterday intimidated others and forcibly removed staff, as well as security personnel. Today, university property was burnt. In view of our commitment to the safety of staff, students, and university property at the campus, it was necessary to evacuate the campus – including residences – with immediate effect. However, residential students are allowed to remain on campus until midday tomorrow (28 September 2016).

The university leadership again wants to emphasise its support for a national policy of free education for the poor and missing middle and stresses its support for peaceful protests on matters that are of concern to our students.
 
We further understand the frustration of many students and their parents/guardians at the closure of the campuses and the impact it has on academic staff, staff in the Support Services, our security personnel, teaching, learning, projects, assignments, lectures, tests, fieldwork, and the academic calendar in general, and commit to do all in our power to ensure the delivery of quality education to all our students under difficult circumstances.


Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

 

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