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NSFAS Bursaries Approved For 1 Million Students By 2024

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NSFAS Bursaries Approved For 1 Million Students By 2024

NSFAS Bursaries Approved For 1 Million Students By 2024. Close to two million applications were submitted for NSFAS 2024 funding. The financial aid scheme has revealed the number of students confirmed for funding in the 2024 academic year.

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NSFAS institution Application

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) received a substantial surge in applications, totaling 1.9 million by 12 February 2024. In response to the high volume, the application deadline was extended to 15 February 2024. NSFAS has reported that 989,998 applicants have been provisionally funded for the 2024 academic year, largely due to their collaboration with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Collaboration with Sassa

NSFAS collaborates with Sassa by cross-referencing applicants with the Sassa grant database. Applicants found on the database automatically meet NSFAS’ household eligibility criteria and are provisionally funded. Out of all applicants, 791,405 individuals receiving Sassa assistance and 198,593 applicants securing funding elsewhere were allocated NSFAS funding.

Funding Allocation

NSFAS received 570,358 funding applications for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college studies and over 1.3 million applications for university funding, indicating high demand for both paths. NSFAS provisionally funded 230,394 TVET applicants and 759,604 university applicants, with disbursement contingent upon institution confirmation of registration.

NSFAS SARS Consent Form

In 2024, NSFAS requested all applicants to submit a consent form to finalize their 2024 NSFAS bursary application, emphasizing that failure to do so may delay funding confirmation. This form enables NSFAS to verify applicants’ eligibility based on household income.

Processing Enhancements

NSFAS is committed to transparent and efficient communication of funding decisions, with decisions communicated as applications are processed. Additional resources have been allocated to expedite processing, including 100 case workers tasked with processing all applications by February 2024’s end and resolving any appeals by April 2024

Conclusion

NSFAS collaboration with Sassa and improved processing efforts have resulted in the provisional funding of nearly one million students for the 2024 academic year, demonstrating the commitment to efficient and transparent financial aid allocation.

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NSFAS News

NSFAS Board Dissolution Reasons

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NSFAS Board Dissolution Reasons

NSFAS Board Dissolution Reasons. More than a million students rely on funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). However, challenges with their funding have led to the decision by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to dissolve the NSFAS board. This article explores the reasons behind this decision and its implications.

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Challenges Leading to the Dissolution

Last week, Minister Nzimande decided to dissolve the NSFAS board due to its failure to ensure the financial aid scheme implemented its responsibilities effectively. The board had been unable to carry out basic responsibilities allocated to it by the Minister and the Act governing NSFAS.

NSFAS Role and Responsibilities

NSFAS provides comprehensive bursaries and student loans to deserving students enrolled in approved courses at universities and TVET colleges. This funding covers tuition and registration fees, as well as allowances for food, accommodation, and learning materials. However, recent non-payment of allowances put students at risk, prompting urgent action from the Minister.

Reasons for Dissolution

Minister Nzimande explained that the board had failed to fulfil its duties, including implementing recommendations, ensuring timely payment of student allowances, submitting reports to Parliament, managing organizational capacity issues, and addressing student concerns promptly.

Issues Identified

The dissolution was partly due to irregularities related to the appointment of service providers for direct allowance payments, as highlighted in the Werksmans report. Recommendations from the report, including terminating contracts of certain service providers, were not fully implemented by NSFAS.

Impact of Board Failure

The board’s failure to distribute student allowances caused stress for students and families and jeopardized the stability of some TVET colleges and universities. Additionally, the board’s inability to consult on guidelines for Missing Middle Funding and implement solutions further hindered progress in addressing financial aid gaps.

Reactions and Endorsements

Stakeholders, including student structures and the Parliamentary Higher Education Committee, welcomed the dissolution. The committee endorsed the Minister’s actions, citing NSFAS’s failure to disburse funds effectively and submit required reports to Parliament.

Appointment of Administrator

Following the dissolution, Minister Nzimande appointed Sithembiso Freeman Nomvalo as the new Administrator for NSFAS. Nomvalo will oversee the governance, management, and administration of NSFAS for 12 months, including developing guidelines for Missing Middle Funding.

Conclusion

The dissolution of the NSFAS board reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring effective management of student funding. The appointment of a new Administrator signals a fresh start for NSFAS, with a focus on addressing the challenges that have plagued the scheme and improving its efficiency in supporting students in need.

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