I am a 24 years old male who comes from the Eastern Cape province, in East London but I currently reside in Bloemfontein to pursue my Tertiary education in the University of the Free-State. I was bestowed the opportunity to be funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme of South Africa from 2017 to 2020. Towards the end of my first year, I noticed that the University was billing students for using the WiFi, independently, not as part of the Tuition fees. Urgently worried by this discovery, I went to ask for clarity and I was told (by the University) that NSFAS doesn’t fund internet bills.
This really confused me because these days, most information about almost anything can be found on the internet, like full-lecture videos, for a particular module of interest, can be from anywhere else in the world, and can be used to help you understand your work better. According to my knowledge, Universities charge for the usage of WiFi as part of the tuition fees not as an independent cost. There were protests at the end of the year 2017 and the beginning of 2018 regarding this issue and other matters, so from 2018 the University rectified this issue and it was no more, but the problem is that, I still have the 2017 internet bill that was accumulating over the years up to 2020.
As of January 2021, the debt is R21 557.93, and I cannot register for further studies this year(2021) to study BSc Honors in Actuarial Sciences or BSc Honors in Mathematical Statistics and increase my chances of future employment because of that outstanding debt. I can’t even get my Official Academic record nor my Undergraduate BSc Actuarial Sciences degree certificate, meaning I can’t even seek employment without those financially blocked important documents. I really need financial assistance on this matter because I’ve come a long way from humble beginnings, so there’s no way my family could assist me on this matter. Consequently, I am now stuck in between the horns of this dilemma with no way of helping myself out, except seeking an external financial assistance.