Richard Scholtz 0

UFS Policy Change for Distance Learners MUST FALL!!!

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The policy change that the University of the Freestate (UFS) have introduced to the distance learning programme, has major adverse effects on students in the form of finances and time off work and away from family. Almost all of the students work full time, some are the sole providers for their families and have to travel from remote areas to satisfy the learning programme's requirements.

Before the policy change, South African UFS distance learners used to be able to register online, expected to attend three compulsory workshops in Midrand or Bloemforntein and, to write exams located at 7 regional venues - all at the cost of the student. For the last decade the UFS has not changed policy and students somehow have made it work.

In brief, policy change calls for distance learning students to now travel to 2 regional venues in the form of Midrand and Bloemfontein, from all over South Africa. All exams, workshops and registration's are now compulsory to attend physically. This is not feasible or viable, as the cost is approximately R4000 - R5000/trip for students and that is not including the time off work, the effect thereof and time away from dependent's, etc. Distance learners pay the same price for education as the residential students, do not receive hard copies for all the learning material billed for each year and get negligible contact time with lecturers. This has been accepted as the norm for the last decade, and still is today but, unfortunately, the policy change is not possible to absorb, as well.

Please join our cause by adding your name to this petition, in accordance to the Bill of Rights contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa which reads: "Everyone has the right to further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible."

We call on UFS to take a progressive stance, by looking at online platforms for registration, workshop's and to still make 7 regional exam venues available.

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