RSS

Tag Archives: NSFAS

NSFAS TO BE A WORLD-CLASS STUDENT FINANCIAL AID SCHEME

*Delayed post.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) makes tertiary study accessible and further changes are being made constantly as it deems fit, thus making it the best student financial scheme in the world. You might find this post very useful if you are a child of the working class, a current student who wants to further his studies through NSFAS, or Student who got blacklisted in the credit bureau by a public university.

The excerpt below is in no way the ideas of the author of this blog. It is a section taken from the 2011 Budget Vote speech delivered by the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande.

An announcement by the President was made on January 8 and elaborated in his State of the Nation Address regarding further assistance for FET students and final year university undergraduates who qualify for NSFAS. I also wish to announce further changes on NSFAS aimed at making higher education more affordable.

In the past, NSFAS has charged interest on student loans throughout the period when the students were studying. This has resulted in students leaving university with large debts. In future, NSFAS will not start charging interest on student loans until 12 months after a student has graduated or left university. This will apply to all the NSFAS loans to students registered on 1 April 2011 and moving forward.

R200 million has been provided to enable NSFAS to grant loans to students who have completed their studies but have not received their certificates or graduated, due to outstanding debt. This will enable an estimated 25 000 students to receive their certificates and enter the job market. All students who met the requirements for graduation between 2000 and 2010 and who are eligible for NSFAS loans can apply for this special funding through their student financial aid offices. In cases of scarce skills, consideration may be given to honours students for such assistance.

A further R50 million has been provided for postgraduate students who require financial assistance to complete their honours, masters and doctoral degrees. These students will enter into loans agreements with NSFAS and the money they pay back will be earmarked to fund future postgraduate students.

Despite the progress we have made in assisting students through NSFAS, I am very concerned that there are many former university students who have been blacklisted with credit bureaus by our public universities. Blacklisting prevents these young people from getting the start in life for which they have studied so hard.

We have asked NSFAS to remove from the credit bureaux all the students they have blacklisted. My Acting Director-General is engaging the universities to do the same, especially for students who were recipients of NSFAS loans. We will further be engaging the National Credit Regulator on this matter. We will also be approaching SARS to assist us to trace NSFAS beneficiaries who are now working but not paying their loans.

Full speech available at: Budget Vote speech

Source: The department of Higher Education and Training.

 
30 Comments

Posted by on July 25, 2011 in General

 

Tags: , ,

Tertiary education, The World most expensive commodity…

I sit here on my study table both sad and happy. Why such a dichotomy of feelings, you may wonder? Sad because tertiary education is becoming more commercialised. But also, happy and honoured that I am studying at a time when the university fees are still in five figures.

Well, you pick up a campus newspaper with a sheer determination to read a juicy and  inspiring stories, only to meet the soul crushing news of  the fees proposal by the university management. In the foreseeable future, tertiary education will become inaccessible to the poor and the middle class. It breaks my spirit that bursary opportunities in South Africa are being cut back and the tuition fees keep sky rocketing. Only the elite, will be able to  pay for tertiary education.

In South Africa, The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the scheme that seek to support people from designate group (The poor and the middle class) seem not to be increasing their financial support proportionately with the rising tuition fees. This leaves those who rely from the said scheme to have deficit on their student account.  At the end of the year, those students fail to get their results or fail to register the following year.

The talent of passionate youth is going to waste. I somehow feel that the human capital of this rainbow nation is under severe pressure.  As long as the university fees keep hiking, South Africa will remain a country with a shortage of skill and greater income inequality.  Rising fees will discourage people especially those from rural areas to pursue higher education, a violation of basic human rights, right there!

I sometimes think that the South African university are becoming highly commercialised and highly branded. Ey look, my degree bears a Stellenbosch/UCT/WITS/TUKS logo, it is like buying Nike/Adidas branded shoe, that’s how our Universities are turning into. On that point, don’t you think that we will be better off, if this institutions just get listed on the JSE?An opportunity of of raising capital by selling shares to the public?

We have seen more recently how violent students become in protest of rising tuition costs, something that pains me.How come I got this far without questioning the role of government in this matter? Right, I understnad that the government subsidise the universities, unfortunately that’s all I know regarding this matter. Why don’t the government charge heavy tax to institutions that raises tuition fees way above the inflation rate?

Established issues attached to Fee increase.

  • More students will rely on bank loans to finance their studies.
  • More poor people will be discouraged from applying to universities. (Accessibility to higher education will be limited.)
  • South African human capital will go extinct.
  • More university resources will be damaged as a result of protesting students.

It is worthy of note to also acknowledge all businesses, foundation and NGO that support students who are under financial distress. The following organisations and people deserve special mention, Thuthuka bursary fund, REAP, The Study Trust, Ernest Oppenheimer, Gallagher Foundation, GT Ferreira and my very best NSFAS.

Education is to become inaccessible in South Africa.  That’s a sad reality considering that we are 16 years post apartheid government.

Oh, well let me stop whining and think of a possible solution to this problem, which will be released on this website in the near future. keep your eyes wide open.

Oh cry me a river!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 25, 2010 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,