University Rejects Laptops From NSFAS
The University of Western Cape has rejected laptops from NSFAS as the bursary scheme was taking too long to deliver these laptops to students. The University has now opted to provide the laptops however its SRC has criticised them for not giving students a choice between opting for a laptop or taking the book allowance.
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has recently rejected the offer from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to provide laptops to students at the university as the bursary scheme was taking too long to get these laptops to the students.
UWC's Student Representative Council (SRC) has released a statement in which they criticize the university for this choice.
They explain that one of NSFAS' policies is that they have made provision for NSFAS students to make use of the learning material allowances for the purchase of a learning device and that universities may mandate students to use these allowances for the purchase of devices, "against the 2021 and future NSFAS learning material allowances."
In the statement the SRC says that the rejection of laptops from NSFAS means that UWC has rejected the offer from them to provide laptops which could have included the R5200 learning allowance.
According to 6.6.3 of the NSFAS policy "The learning material allowance may be used for the purchase of academic books and materials and/or a learning device. Only one allowance is provided per student per academic year. Allowances for students in distance education programmes are calculated based on the number of courses registered up to a maximum of R5 200.”
The SRC claims that the move from the University to acquire the laptops for the students is an "unnecessary arrangement" if students are not given the choice of whether they will be taking the laptops or opting for cash in the form of a book allowance.
There is absolutely no reason for the university to take this posture. We, in fact take this decision as anti-progress from the University side.
In 2020 UWC started a campaign of "NO STUDENT LEFT BEHIND" in which money was donated to the campaign so that they could purchase laptops for all students who were in need of them as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This decision to provide the laptops on the condition that students do not get to receive their book allowance is seen as anti-progress from the campaign started last year.
The SRC says that they do not understand why this offer from the university is directed at NSFAS first years and no other student in senior years.
"It is opportunism to overlook the liberty of the students to make their own decision for laptops or cash, it is the highest order of opportunism to pounce on the first years," the SRC says.
firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can compile a list of the students.
To the students the SRC says:
The whole R5200 belongs to you if you do not want a laptop. It is your money and thus you are rightful to your money.
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