“THE TUT MANAGEMENT and the Central Student Representation (CSRC). a formal agreement concluding recent discussions on student funding between the parties,” spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said in a statement. This agreement will help students make payments for their debts, while allowing them to enroll and continue their education,” she said. In the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, the TUT management and the CSRC agreed on several issues, including student debt arrears and issues related to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The management of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Central Student Representation signed a formal agreement on Monday following protests at the institution, the university said on Monday. Professor Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Director of the TUT, thanked the CSRC for the positive spirit with which they have done to “meet this national challenge” and resume academic activities. All remaining balances due should be settled together with the royalty balance in 2015 by 30 October 2015. “This will provide about R7m in terms of support for this critical electorate.” As for the approximately 226 B-Tech students over the past year, they would only have to pay the initial minimum of R1500 and make financial arrangements in relation to their historical debt. Students should also sign an acknowledgement of debt for the remaining 2014 balances. “It has also been agreed that funds for academic scholarships will be rediscussed to graduate and financially disadvantaged students within the NSFAS Group,” she said. “That`s the equivalent of R37 [million] in support.” “It is expected that this will end the student protest that has stopped activities at various sites in recent weeks.” With respect to NSFAS funding, students who were funded by NSFAS in 2014 and owe outstanding debts to the university and who did not have NSFAS funding in 2015 can enroll under certain conditions with outstanding debts. The protests began on the campuses of Soshanguve University and later spread to the Ga-Rankuwa, eMalahleni and Pretoria campuses.
“About 471 national degree students in the past year have to pay a first payment of R1500, coupled with financial arrangements,” De Ruyter said. As for outstanding debt, all students who had debt arrears from previous years would have to pay at least R1500 across the entire line for outstanding debts, plus the minimum initial payment of R1500 for registration in 2015. “That`s about R16m of financial support for this group of students.”