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Welcome to The Daily Vox's Wednesday newsletter. 

The Wednesday morning edition of the Top of the Vox is here to give you all the student and university-related news that you need to know. If you have any burning questions or even a story idea related to students, universities and higher education, drop us an email or get in touch via our social media channels. We are going to be covering the latest students' news with a sprinkle of great opportunities for students.

It’s Day 27 of the lockdown. We hope everyone is keeping well during this difficult time. Yesterday president Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africa on the socioeconomic plans that the government has come up around the COVID-19 pandemic. The president said there would be several stages on the road to economic recovery. The first stage included providing benefits to South Africans, tax relief and wage support. Last night the president announced a social-economic relief package of R500 billion. This amounts to around 10% of South Africa's GDP.

This relief plan includes a larger health budget, relief for hunger and social distress, company and worker support, and a phased re-opening of the economy.

"Poverty and food insecurity have deepened in just a few weeks," said Ramaphosa. The president also announced a special six-month COVID-19 grant to be given to social grant beneficiaries. Existing grants will also be increased. 

WATCH THE PRESS BRIEFING HERE for a full account of all the socioeconomic plans put in place. 

Latest from NSFAS

Students wishing to get in touch with Nsfas should use online platforms such as NSFAS Connect, email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

NSFAS has activated a business continuity plan to facilitate uninterrupted funding to students, resolution of student application queries, processing of appeals and general assistance to institutions with NSFAS administration. This is to ensure that students will receive their allowances during this time. 

NSFAS remains fully functional and accessible through the various platforms to ensure that student inquiries are attended to as soon as possible.

To access your funding progress through your MyNSFAS account, you are required to register or re-register a myNSFAS account on http://nsfas.org.za 

What’s happening on campuses? 

This week The Daily Vox reported on the concerns of final year medical students. CHECK OUT THE STORY HEREAs the lockdown continues, many institutions of higher learning have moved their academic operations online. For final year medical students who have to complete clinical teaching hours however, online learning is not an option. 

Two students from med schools told The Daily Vox that if final year medical students aren't allowed to complete their studies and graduate, this could cause a shortage in medical interns. 

Sixth-year medical students have to complete certain hours of clinical training in order to graduate at the end of the year. They then have to carry out two years of internship and one year of community service at public hospitals around the country. 

A KZN student told The Daily Vox that if students cannot graduate at the end of the year, this will mean that there won’t be any interns going into the system. She said this means there will be a problem in the health system. This means there will be a shortage of medical interns in the health system. The Wits student said that if there aren’t any interns, this could cause a collapse in the health sector. 

The dean of the health sciences faculty, Martin Veller, at Wits University told The Daily Vox that they are concerned about their clinical students and their ability to complete the academic year. 

The Daily Vox reached out to both the department of health and higher education for comment. 

There is also a financial implication for many students. If the academic year is not completed, students will need to pay many expenses in 2021 said the Wits student. This includes rent and tuition fees. 

According to the students, The Daily Vox has spoken, most final year medical students wish to resume their clinical training. This, despite the added risks they may face. This story is developing and will be updated on The Daily Vox website. 

Check out OUR COVERAGE of how universities within South Africa and around the world are dealing with COVID-19.  

If you’re getting bogged down by all the information out on the internet, FATIMA MOOSA has PUT TOGETHER an easy myth-buster around COVID-19. 

Here’s how to help the VULNERABLE PEOPLE in your community during the lockdown. 

Since you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time at home, you might as well start making your space more liveable. SHAAZIA EBRAHIM has some ideas. 

Why comparing the COVID-19 lockdown around the world to refugee camps and warzones is wrong.

A grouping of organisations called Rent Strike South Africa are calling on landlords to issue a rent moratorium. 

Here are some important contact details for the 
lockdown

Some great opportunities: 

MALAYSIA: Albukhary International University Scholarship
The Albukhary International University (AIC) in Malaysia is offering undergraduate scholarships to international students who wish to study at AIC from September 2020. Applicants must be between the age of 18 and 22 years old at the time of commencing their scholarship. The applicants need to come from a low income status and must be a single marital status. [Deadline before May 2020] Find more details here.

CHINA: Renmin University Master of Contemporary Chinese Studies Scholarship

The Silk Road School at the Renmin University of China (Suzhou) offers scholarships for applicants who wish to pursue a Master of Contemporary Chinese studies at Silk Road School, Renmin University of China in 2020. The level of the degree is at master’s level. [Deadline before April 30 2020] Find more details here.

If you know of any good scholarships and opportunities for students, please drop us an email and let us know. We can’t wait to hear from you. 
If you have any urgent questions related to Nsfas or to universities, we’ve answered them here.

No Late Applications To Be Accepted

Everything You Need To Know About NSFAS 2020

However, if you have a question that we have not answered, let us know and we will try to find you an answer. 

For more from The Daily Vox, check out our websiteFacebookTwitter, and Instagram. If you've received this email from a friend and haven't already subscribed to Top of the Vox, click here – you know you want to!
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Until next week
From Fatima and The Daily Vox team

Remember to WASH YOUR HANDS, reach out to vulnerable people in your community, and be safe during the lockdown. 
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