Cape Town – Stellenbosch University says it will urgently consider possible discounts on accommodation fees as many students remain in the dark over when they will return to campuses.
Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers said arrangements would be announced within the next week.
The university was aware that the Covid-19 pandemic had brought about wide-spread financial hardship, he added, and it had implemented payment relief measures.
“The payment cycle for study and accommodation fees determines that 75% of the total amount (minus the first instalment paid at registration) is due at the end of May every year. The final payment is due in September,” he said.
De Villiers added that the measures would include “those unable to meet the May and September payment dates” and “a payment arrangement can be made for monthly instalments for the rest of 2020”.
He said alternative payment arrangements would be applicable to 2020 only, and all fees would be payable before 2020 graduation for final-year students or before further registration for 2021.
“Whereas interest at prime rate is normally levied on arrears accounts, no interest will be payable for the four-month period from April 1 until July31. No levies will be charged currently for parking, societies, sport clubs, and residence and PSO activities, as this will be determined and billed according to actual usage when there is more certainty about this,” he said.
De Villiers said while implementing online learning and continuing to provide support to those students who have remained in the residences and in private accommodation, the various work streams of the university’s institutional committee for business continuity have been working on the possible scenarios that may play out.
Students Representative Council chairperson Lewis Mboko said payment measures brought about by the university were “very progressive”.
By Sisonke Mlamla