The work for study programme will involve employing students to work for the university and, instead of paying them directly, will deduct money off their tuition accounts.

James Lotter, the deputy secretary of the SRC, is a key member involved in this project. He said that the project was part of the 2013 Daso election manifesto. “NSFAS has many flaws and we are looking at more alternative solutions for students to receive financial aid. The work for study programme is another platform that creates opportunities for students to gain access to financial aid and at the same time students will leave the university with work experience,” he said.

The programme is intended to target financially needy students who are performing well academically. Some of the projects that students might expect to be a part of include the idea of re-establishing the Sunnyside to Arcadia and Prinshof to Hatfield bus services. Students with a driving licence would be able to apply for a UP driving licence and be employed to drive the minivans which will replace the buses.

The SRC also aims to lobby for the library to be open 24 hours a day and students in the programme would be able to do shifts working at the library.

The SRC also said that they would like to make administrative posts available as part of the programme.

The SRC was not able to confirm how much of the students’ tuition fees would be debited for each month’s work, but they confirmed that it would be within the standards of South Africa’s labour laws.

Lotter said that working for the university should not mean that students neglect their studies. “It will be extremely important that this programme doesn’t affect anyone’s academics, which is why academic performance will be taken into consideration when students apply for the programme. We will also establish a working system whereby students do not do shifts within a certain time frame of semester tests and exams,” Lotter said.

The proposal for the work for study programme is expected to be finalised this week and will then be presented to university management. Lotter said that the SRC hopes to have a fully established programme in place by the end of this year and a formal programme implemented at the beginning of 2015.

Photo: Brad Donald

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