NSFAS Updates Today On Delays With NSFAS Appeals
In todays latest NSFAS News – Hundreds of thousands of students in South Africa from low-income backgrounds rely on bursary programs and other forms of financial aid to continue their education. Yet many of these students are in a limbo state because the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has taken too long to make funding decisions.
The South African Union of Students (SAUS) convened a meeting with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) earlier this month to discuss the many problems that still plague college students. Despite the fact that the parties involved had reached a resolution, almost none of the stakeholders actually stuck to their end of the bargain.
SAUS expressed concern to NSFAS at the beginning of the year about the delayed release of funding decisions. The parties settled on February 6th, 2023 as the deadline for making these choices. NSFAS, however, did not meet this deadline, so over 200 000 students are still unsure of their financial aid status.
The decision has been postponed, which has led to further complications. Students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are having their university spots given up to those who can afford to pay their own way while they wait for funding decisions.
The organization has not yet completed their processes, and it has been over a month since the agreed-upon release date of the funding decisions. Most colleges and universities have stopped accepting new students now that the school year has begun. Although they have been accepted, students now find themselves without a place to study at a university.
Regardless of whether or not they receive funding in the end, these students are already at a disadvantage due to being weeks behind in their coursework.
Earlier this week, the union held another meeting with NSFAS board members, including Board Chairperson Dr. Ernest Khoza and CEO Mr. Andile Nongogo. They talked about the most pressing problems students are facing and how NSFAS and SAUS plan to address them.
The union stated that they recognize not all of these problems can be solved overnight, but that the most pressing ones must be addressed immediately.
NSFAS is currently reviewing these appeals, and appeal decisions will be made available on a rolling basis as the scheme processes them. On March 13th, an appeals tribunal made up of SAUS representatives will meet to rule on the remaining appeals.