Universities helping students register as academic year kicks off

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Wits University has pledged support to its 37 500 students as the academic year kicks off on Monday. Around 27 000 students from the university receive some form of financial aid.

University spokesperson Shirona Patel says the institution has made a R10 million COVID-19 relief fund available for registration, as well as other resources to ensure optimal online learning.

“Wits has invested in a new learning management system and has ensured that students have access to data and devices so that teaching can continue, despite the hindrance of the coronavirus pandemic.  Wits has also gone the extra mile to help students register by making available a Wits hardship fund for R10 million. This is to help students who are experiencing financial hardship and who have a historical debt of up to R120 000.”

Meanwhile, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) says students who register for the 2021 academic year will be allowed to apply for payment plans to cover their registration. Students with outstanding debt will also be allowed to register after they sign an acknowledgment of debt form.

UWC spokesperson, Gasant Abarder, says they have received 110 000 first-year applications but can only accept 4 500 students. He says they will commence with classes next Monday.

“Our students have up until the 12th of March to register. We financially cleared all of our students, to try and speed up the process, we see that as a very progressive note and all lectures will continue online for the first semester, and then it will be re-assessed.”

NSFAS last week announced that it will no longer fund some qualifications including teaching and nursing: