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What Students Need to Know About 2024 NSFAS Allowances

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What Students Need to Know About 2024 NSFAS Allowances

What Students Need to Know About 2024 NSFAS Allowances. More than one million students are set to receive funding from NSFAS in 2024. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) recently disclosed its plan for paying allowances in the 2024 academic year.

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NSFAS Allowances Distribution Method

NSFAS will use the direct payment method for distributing allowances. Students need to register with direct payment partners assigned to their institutions.

NSFAS Payment Schedule

Universities were requested to pay allowances for both February and March due to registration data delays. Funds will be distributed to institutions with submitted data by March 8, 2024.

NSFAS Commencement of Allowances

Direct payments of NSFAS allowances for the 2024 academic year will begin in April. Universities will administer payments for February and March, with the 3rd allowance made on the direct payment platform.

NSFAS Student Concerns

Students have called for NSFAS to pay accommodation allowances directly to them, but this does not align with NSFAS funding guidelines.

Conclusion

NSFAS continues to face challenges but has made significant progress in expanding access to higher education and training opportunities for students.

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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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