Yesterday students at the University of the Free State (UFS) gathered again outside the main building to hear the fate of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) applicants.

A memorandum of demands was submitted to management on February 21. The memorandum demanded that all students who meet the necessary academic requirements irrespective of their financial blocks, be allowed to register immediately. The memorandum also requested a revision of the academic timetable so as to allow late registered students an opportunity to catch up on academic activities.

In the memorandum, students have urged the university to provide students with emergency accommodation while they are awaiting a response from NSFAS. In conclusion, the memorandum calls for a campus shut down until all the aforementioned demands are met.

Acting vice-chancellor Professor Nicky Morgan presented students with management’s response to the memorandum yesterday. Prof. Morgan said the university will do its best to ensure that as many students as possible are registered. He added that a revision of the timetable is necessary and that faculty heads will be available to assist students who have registered late.

On the issue of accommodation, Morgan said that the university is only able to assist students with accommodation until February 28. He explained that “The reason for this being that we aim to have responses from NSFAS by then. We will be putting fire under them.”

Morgan remained vague on the call for a campus shutdown and dubiously left students with the following concluding remark, “The university respects students right to protest.”

Protesting students were generally dissatisfied with the response and feel that a campus shutdown for the rest of the week will give NSFAS more time to respond. Student leaders will be meeting with management again during the course of today.

Written by Tammy Fray