NSFAF Funds 22178 learners for tertiary Education
In todays latest NSFAF News – THE Namibian Students Assistance Fund (NSFAF), has announced that the fund has awarded a total of 22, 178 underprivileged learners funding to carry out their tertiary education at various institutions throughout the country.
This was revealed by Kennedy Kandume, the Acting Chief Executive Officer at the fund, who said that during this period, the Fund received 30,124 applications from prospective beneficiaries, compared to 23,696 applications received last year (2022 academic year).
Of 30,124 applications received, Kandume shared that a total of 22,178 or 74% applicants are eligible for funding. This is an increase of 30%, when compared to 17,096 eligible applicants during 2022 academic year. This leaves 7 946 or 26% of applicants’ ineligible for funding during 2023 academic year. To assess funding eligibility, Kundume shared that the Fund is reliant on information provided by applicants themselves, with exception of academic record that we verify directly with Ministry of Education, Art and Culture.
“The Fund truly represents one of the most progressive efforts by the Government of the Republic of Namibia to systematically break social inequality in providing access to higher education and training. There is no doubt that the Government has made a decisive break in ensuring that those who unable to access higher education are assisted through this Fund,” Kandume said.
He added that a total of N$1 .68 billion was allocated to cater for continuing as well as 2023 new intakes.
Kandume shared that their calculations, however revealed that this allocation is not enough, which prompted an engagement with the Line Ministry and Ministry of Finance, and both Ministries committed to avail additional funds to enable funding of all eligible applicants.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi said that by awarding scholarships to 22 000 eligible Namibian students, who will be studying at Public and Private Higher Education Institutions in Namibia, this year, the government is demonstrating its commitment by providing this important opportunity to students to deepen their knowledge and skills in different academic and technical fields and to be fit for purpose upon graduation.
“Given the new discoveries and developments in our country, l hope that the identiﬁcation and selection of the 2023 awarded students was not informed ONLY by the long-standing priority ﬁelds of study, but also took cognizant of the new knowledge and skillsets required to exploit the new natural resources discoveries in our country. Equally, our universities and other Institutions of Higher Learning in Namibia should accommodate these new areas of economic development by developing course offerings, of certificate, diploma, under-graduate and post— graduate levels,” Dr. Murangi said.
She added that these programs should speak to developing both professional and technical knowledge and skills required in oil, gas and green hydrogen fields.
Applications for Financial Assistance for the 2023 academic year opened on 1 December 2022, and was initially envisaged to close on 31 January 2023, meaning it was open for a period of two months. However due to requests from stakeholders, the application period was extended for a period of two weeks to 10 February 2023.
Eligible applicants have 60 days from today, until 19 June 2023 to submit their contracts, failure to submit will result in them forfeiting the ﬁnancial assistance.