CAPE TOWN– South African Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor has instructed the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to get its house in order by fully integrating its application systems with those of universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges by the end of the year.
Speaking to the media at Parliament here Tuesday, she said: “The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) will ensure that NSFAS systems are effectively integrated into the colleges and university systems and that NSFAS staff work closely with financial aid offices at institutional level to address any problem. Every single delay has a real effect on students, on their ability to access accommodation and food, books and ultimately on their ability to succeed.”
The Department says 9.8 billion Rand (about 794 million US dollars) have been allocated for financial aid to students this year, catering for close to 460,000 students. Funding is expected to peak at 35 billion Rand in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.
However, the biggest challenge is verifying who qualifies for free education and NSFAS Chairperson Sizwe Nxasana says: Very often, institutions say, ‘We’ve sent you data’ but that data they have sent is not just the data of NSFAS qualifying students. We’re still going through a whole process of making sure that the data they sent are the data of qualifying students.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK