6 November 2016
Dear students and staff
Financial support regarding special arrangements for November and deferred exams
The next academic year will start in March 2017. Those who complete their exams during November 2016 and who are not graduating will have no reason to return to UCT until March 2017.
There will be exceptions such as those starting graduate studies, and certain programmes such as health sciences which have an extended academic year starting in January.
Students who have not deferred exams and who write the delayed exams in November will not be charged any additional residence charges for staying the extra weeks in November to write exams. They are required, however, to leave within 72 hours of their last exam and may be charged a daily rate thereafter. If a student begins writing exams and then applies for deferral of individual exams, they must vacate the residence after the last exam that has not been deferred.
Those who stay off campus and are on financial aid will already have received their stipends for the full month of November which will cover their costs for this period.
Accommodation arrangements for January for deferred exams
Students who choose to sit for deferred exams or who are required to return for the mini-semester will be allowed to stay in residence up to the maximum capacity that the residences can accommodate. Others will have to make off-campus arrangements. As yet we do not know how many will defer. Those who choose to defer their whole block of exams will be given preference in allocating space in residence for the deferred exam and pre-exam period. Those who defer individual exams may not be able to be accommodated in the residences and if they can be, will only be accommodated for a period from 24 hours before their first exam until 24 hours after their last exam.
Students deferring the whole block of exams will have to vacate the residence within 36 hours of their last exam. The residences will be closed following exams (10 February) until the start of the next academic year (residences open on the weekend of 3-4 March 2017). (Exceptions will be for postgraduate students and students whose academic programme requires them to be present during that period - such as health sciences.)
The management of the residences during the January to 2 March 2017 period will be on the same basis as "vac accommodation" the way we normally manage residences during December and January. This is usually the period of major maintenance and deep cleaning during which the whole residence has to be closed. This means that during this period students will not be accommodated in the residences that they occupied in 2016, or in the residence they will occupy following March 2017, should they be returning to residence for the 2017 academic year.
Costs of accommodation
Students making use of residence accommodation in January up to the end of deferred exams will be not be charged an accommodation fee, but will be charged for meal costs which will be added to their fee account for the number of days they are in residence. However, students who have been on financial aid in 2016 and students on bursaries who would have been eligible for NSFAS* will not be charged meal costs for the period for which they have permission to be in residence.
NSFAS students and NSFAS-eligible bursary students in self-catering residences or in off-campus accommodation will be allowed to eat in the catering residences at no charge. For planning purposes, they will need to apply for access and will be allocated access to a specific dining hall and for a specific period. Apply here.
There will be no NSFAS stipends in January or February, until the start of the next academic year and in many cases external funders of bursaries will also not provide additional funds for this period, although we will assist bursary recipients in appealing to those donors for additional support. Students who are writing deferred exams and would depend on those funds to pay for off-campus accommodation will therefore, as far as possible, be accommodated in residence during the required period without charge. There may be exceptional cases which will be dealt with by an appeals committee.
Off-campus students seeking accommodation for the mini-semester, consolidation and deferred examination period
Students living in off-campus accommodation will be permitted to make application for on-campus accommodation. Please note that the application is not a guarantee that on-campus accommodation will be offered. The offer of accommodation is subject to bed space availability once the total number of on-campus students who have made application for accommodation has been confirmed.
NSFAS students and students on bursaries who would have been eligible for NSFAS, who will be coming back to complete either the mini-semester or deferred exams will be assisted with a bus ticket to UCT and another return ticket home after exams. (There are some exceptions such as in health sciences, where students will start their 2017 academic programme immediately after they finish the deferred exams, and therefore will not go home. They are therefore not eligible for travel assistance since there is no extra travel cost as a result of the deferred exams.)
To access this travel assistance, students should apply by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be sent a link to the travel assistance form to complete online. A ticket will be sent to them by email. For the homebound ticket, students will follow the same process and must apply at least five days before their final exam.
* Any student who is financially stressed even if they are not on financial aid, or whose bursary will not cover their additional costs for January, or who is on gap funding and cannot afford the additional costs resulting from deferred exams, may make an application which will be assessed as to whether they can also be assisted in regard to transport, meal assistance and free accommodation in a residence. Please write to the appeals committee at FinancialAid@uct.ac.za if you need financial assistance and are not on NSFAS.
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