Stellenbosch University Students Lament Over Unpaid Funza Lushaka Allowances
The 2022 academic year has been off to an unpleasant start for some Education Students at Stellenbostch University (SU), as those who qualify for the Funza Lushaka bursary say the institution’s bursary office has not paid their bursary allowances this year.
In an e-mail written by the leadership of the Education Student Council (ESC) on behalf of the Funza Lushaka bursary students who study Education at the University, the student movement said that none of the students have received any payments from the bursary office this year.
The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year program to promote teaching as a profession. The bursary is made available to enable eligible students to complete a teaching qualification in an area of national priority.
The funding amount, which equates to an annual award of R113,750 covers tuition fees, university residence or private accommodation costs, study/learning material, meals/living allowances as well as teaching practice allowance where applicable.
In addition to this, the students say that there are students whose accounts have not been settled since last year and that they have approached the bursary office on several occasions regarding the matter to no effect.
We have tried going to the bursary office and followed the correct procedures, but every single time we get the same answer: “We are still waiting to hear from the DBE.
As it currently stands the Chairperson of the ESC, Lize-Mari Slabber told Careers Portal that the issue has not been resolved and there will be another meeting with the bursary office regarding the many questions and issues that students have.
I hope to find some insightful answers which I can take back to students. Students are not happy with the current situation and are experiencing immense financial stress.
In response to our request for comment, the university’s Media Liason Martin Viljoen said that Funza allowances were paid out on 18 March 2022 to students who reapplied and met the bursary programme’s eligibility requirements.
He also pointed out that the higher learning institution came across some difficulties when it came to processing bursary payments to student fee accounts, because of various issues relating to the submission of bursary agreements.
The University experienced some challenges with regard to payment of bursaries to the student fee accounts due to a number of bursary agreements that were handed in late. Some bursary agreements were not completed correctly and thus contained errors that needed correction by students. More than 400 bursary agreements were submitted in hard copy format and had to be validated and uploaded.
All correct and completed bursary agreements are now being processed for payments according to the university.
In addition to this, the university says that an online questionnaire for the 2022 academic year has been compiled, and enables students to indicate their place of accommodation so that the payment of private accommodation and living costs can be processed.
Furthermore, communication has also been sent out to students this week to inform them of the first payment for 2022.