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The NSFAS is committed to settling outstanding disbursements

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The NSFAS is committed to settling outstanding disbursements

The NSFAS is committed to settling outstanding disbursements.The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has expressed its unwavering commitment to finalize all pending 2023 disbursements by January 15, 2024. This determination is being undertaken in collaboration with the concerned educational institutions.

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Extraordinary Board Meeting on December 31, 2023

An extraordinary meeting of the NSFAS Board took place on December 31, 2023. During this session, reports from NSFAS management were reviewed, covering crucial topics such as the conclusive disbursement of 2023 allowances, the NSFAS budget adjustment, and the NSFAS accommodation pilot project.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition for 2024 Academic Year

The primary goal of settling outstanding disbursements is to ensure that the 2023 bursary allowances have no adverse impact on returning students for the upcoming 2024 academic year.

Stakeholder Engagements and Further Communication

NSFAS is actively engaged in stakeholder discussions with key entities such as Universities South Africa (Usaf), the South African Public Colleges Organisation (SAPCO), the South African Union of Students (SAUS), and the South African Technical Vocational Education and Training Student Association (SATVETSA). These engagements aim to update stakeholders on the preparations for the 2024 academic year, NSFAS eligibility criteria, and conditions for financial aid.

Disbursement Progress and Categories

As of December 5, 2023, NSFAS has disbursed allowances to approximately 234,124 students. The disbursement process, focused on the 2023 academic year, includes three main categories: direct payment to students, allowances on tuition disbursement to institutions, and student allowances via institutions.

Unresolved Cases and Further Consultation

Despite substantial progress, NSFAS acknowledges that approximately 20,000 allowances remain unresolved. These cases require additional input and consultation with educational institutions for their resolution.

Planning for 2024 Academic Year

During the board meeting, discussions also revolved around the NSFAS 2024 program of action and the establishment of a Rapid Response Team in anticipation of the challenges of the 2024 academic year.

2024 Financial Aid Applications

Applications for financial aid for the 2024 academic year officially opened on November 21, 2023. NSFAS emphasizes that the application window will close on January 31, 2024.

Werksmans Attorneys Report Implementation

The NSFAS Board announced its intention to make public announcements concerning the implementation of the Werksmans Attorneys report. This report, adopted in October 2023, addressed allegations regarding the appointment of direct payment service providers and conflicts of interest involving former NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo.

Despite challenges, the board reaffirms its commitment to implementing the direct payment solution, viewing it as crucial for reducing unauthorized access, eliminating ghost students, and addressing payment inconsistencies.

Conclusion

In summary, NSFAS remains dedicated to resolving outstanding disbursements promptly, ensuring a smooth transition for students into the 2024 academic year, and implementing necessary reforms based on the Werksmans Attorneys report.

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NSFAS News

South Africa Two New Universities | The Latest Update

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South Africa Two New Universities | The Latest Update

South Africa Two New Universities |The Latest Update. South Africa is poised to tackle its skill shortage head-on with the rapid development of two innovative universities, aiming not only to expand access to higher education but also to tailor programs to meet the demands of the local job market.

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Hammanskraal University | Targeting Crime Prevention

One of the newly proposed universities, Hammanskraal University, is set to play a pivotal role in combating the nation’s crime epidemic by specializing in Police and Crime Detection. Currently, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is conducting a thorough evaluation of existing expertise within the Hammanskraal police academy to identify areas for enhancement through new faculty appointments.

Additionally, partnerships with established universities offering advanced degrees in relevant fields are being explored to bolster the university’s academic prowess.

Ekurhuleni University of Science and Innovation| Fostering Scientific Advancement

In a bid to address the absence of a major university in Ekurhuleni, the region will soon be home to the Ekurhuleni University of Science and Innovation, dedicated to promoting Science and Innovation. As the planning enters its second phase, critical considerations such as infrastructure development, faculty recruitment, and curriculum design are at the forefront.

This includes meticulous planning for a state-of-the-art campus equipped with modern facilities and technology, as well as strategies to attract and retain top-tier faculty members.

Government Initiatives For Collaboration and Growth

Recognizing the significance of collaboration in nurturing strong academic institutions, the government has outlined several strategies to foster partnerships and streamline transitions for students. This includes collaborating with established universities to lay a solid academic foundation, bridging the gap between vocational training colleges and the new universities, and creating pathways for postgraduate studies.

The exploration of articulation pathways at the postgraduate level signifies a commitment to providing diverse opportunities for academic advancement and specialization.

Conclusion

The development of these two new universities underscores South Africa’s commitment to addressing skill shortages and driving innovation in key sectors. By prioritizing collaboration, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement, the government aims to ensure the success and sustainability of these institutions for generations to come.

As the implementation phase gains momentum, the prospect of a brighter future for South African higher education looms ever closer.

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