The University of the Western Cape, amongst all other Higher Education institutions, had to close it’s doors and suspend the academic programme temporarily after the Minister announced that it should do so.
In order to continue the academic programme and to complete the 2020 academic year, as Government is determined to do, UWC has decided to participate in a flexible learning programme which uses online learning and teaching methods.
In order to make sure students are able to engage in their studies from home, UWC has then had to make sure to provide students with devices and data should they need it.
Students were requested to complete a questionnaire to indicate their data needs. UWC executives have stated, “Based on the information gathered from the student needs questionnaire, the University will make the following data package available to these students: 1. 10GB of daytime data per month; and, 2. 20GB of nighttime data per month.”
This data is free and will only be given to students for three months, starting from 1 May 2020. Processes to provide students with data is happening. UWC reminds students that, “The data package will not be topped up by the University if you deplete your data allocation for the month.”
This data is only available to a maximum of 7500 students who responded. More than 4000 requests have been received. If you’re a UWC student and you haven’t completed the form, you urged to do so and can by clicking here.
UWC will also be making laptops available to students who need them. They have stated, “Students are able to take up the offer for an affordable device at a special rate that the University has negotiated, for a limited number of laptops”
The laptop package includes: a Lenovo Ideapad, a Laptop Bag, an LTE Modem and a 2-year Warranty with the laptop being delivered to students’ doors. The cost of this package will not exceed R7000 and will be charged to student accounts. An agreement will need to be signed as students get the laptop.
The University has clarified, “The student is liable to pay for the device. The University is raising funds to assist some students with the payment for the device. This is a separate process and will be announced soon.”
As for NSFAS students, “NSFAS has not made funding available for the device.The student is liable to pay for the device. The device charge to the student account does not impact any existing NSFAS arrangement for the student. For example, allowances will not be affected by this transaction.”
It’s a one-package deal. That means a student who opts in for the deal cannot remove the cost of the LTE modem.
UWC states, “The University will endeavour to offset the costs for the devices with its current #NoStudentWillBeLeftBehind fundraising appeal.”