Yonel Ombele, Compare Medical Aid.
Home Affairs presented the updated rules and regulations on immigration to provide context and create an understanding for students on the importance of submitting study permits and proof of medical aid before registration. They also addressed a number of challenges that students experience when applying for and renewing their permits, as well as issues around renewing and accessing medical aid benefits.
According to Mmaphuti Mohlala, Administration and Selection Administrator from the Registrar’s Office, this discussion was an important for international students. “The Registrar’s Office is committed to assist all international students to be up to date with their documents. In view of this, we must provide relevant advice to students on the correct processes to follow when applying for study permits, to avoid rejection of their applications.”
She also highlighted other challenges they often face. “Study permits that are not issued on time result in students not being able to travel to their home countries during school holidays, as well as Postgraduates not being able to travel abroad to present their papers or attend conferences.”
“External stakeholders play an important role in the services we provide to our international students. Therefore, it is a priority to strengthen the relationship between the International Office, the Department of Home Affairs and medical aid companies. This will assist our office to provide the best service to International students and advise them correctly,” said Mohlala.
“Many international students benefit from Momentum’s medical aid, which provides coverage for their medical needs while they are in the country. Momentum’s goal is to assist international students, who are sometimes also refugees, as well as South African citizens whenever they need medical assistance,” said Momentum Medical Aid Spokeswoman, Rikki Wooding.
Rossy Mananna, BEng Tech Civil Engineering’s ISO Chairperson at the Pretoria Campus said: “These authorities really spent time in responding to burning questions from students, which included the issues they experience during the Visa renewal process. The discussion was a useful and very informative.”