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Nelson Mandela University establishing a Clearing House to deal with students' problems

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 8, 2019
Nelson Mandela University establishing a Clearing House to deal with students' problems

The Nelson Mandela University says that a meeting was held between management and student representatives on Thursday afternoon following a South African African Students Congress (SASCO) led protest that led to the university cancelling classes on Thursday.

Nelson Mandela University spokesperson, Zandile Mbabela, said that the meeting dealt with a series of issues as raised by the students, many of which had been dealt with through the various task teams and working groups.

"The students aired their frustrations at the perceived slow pace of implementing the resolutions to the issues raised."

Mbabela said the meeting decided to immediate establish a Clearing House, which will comprise the Student Representative Council, Finance Department, Student Affairs, Academic Administration and Student Counselling.

The Clearing House will deal with students’ issues on an individual case basis, which include:

  • Academically deserving masters and doctoral students, who qualified for Council-approved financial concessions for their undergraduate studies, under the cohort of Zero EFC, will be cleared for registration,
  • An adjustment has been made to align the percentage required to qualify for postgraduate funding with that of the postgraduate admission requirements,
  • Appeals of students who had unfavourable outcomes relating to the loss of NSFAS funding due to various reasons will be reviewed,
  • Most of the admitted students who had applied through the national CACH system have been cleared for registration and accommodation. Any CACH student who has not yet heard the outcome of their application can request intervention from the University’s Clearing House, and
  • Any identified administrative anomalies will be attended to.

Students can still refer issues to the Nelson Mandela University's Student Accounts and Financial Aid offices

She added that students may continue to refer their specific issues to Student Accounts and Financial Aid.

"Should these not be adequately resolves, students can bring these to the attention of the Clearing House," Mbabela explained.

"Two matters pertaining to academic programmes were raised and considered at the meeting."

The first had to do with 2018 Higher Certificate students who still have a few modules to complete and don’t qualify for NSFAS funding as a result. These students may appeal to their respective faculties for reconsideration and possible concurrent registration for diploma studies.

The second had to do with students who had not met the pass requirements for their prerequisite modules, which impacts on what they are able to register for this year. This may also have implications for obtaining NSFAS funding. These students may also appeal to their respective faculties for reconsideration.

"In light of the good engagement held with students, we are of the view that we have covered sufficient grounds to have normal university operations resume on Friday," Mbabela said.

"Tests and assignments that were affected by the disruptions to the academic activities this week – from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday – will be rescheduled. Students should consult their respective lecturers for these arrangements."

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