Union Calls Out NSFAF to Pay Tuition and non-tuition fees Ontime
NSFAF Latest News – The Namibian National Student Organisation(NANSO) recently launched the second phase of its Access to Higher and Vocational Education Campaign on January 26, 2023, at the Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (KAYEC).
The objective of this month-long campaign is to provide support to students and trainees in areas of registration, accommodation, NSFAF applications, and general student inquiries. Moreover, NANSO continues its mission to advocate for affordable, equitable, and quality higher education for all.
To effectively support students, NANSO has established help desks at all institutions of higher learning, and to date, has assisted over 14,000 students and trainees. In preparation for this campaign, NANSO engaged in meetings with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Higher Education and Innovation, NSFAF, and institutional managements.
These engagements were aimed at addressing the various issues affecting access to higher education in Namibia, particularly in the areas of funding.
NANSO has taken a strong stance on the following issues:
•Registration Fees: The high cost of registration fees remains a major barrier to access to higher education. NANSO has demanded that the Ministry of Higher Education and Innovation ensure that all institutions of higher learning reduce their registration fees by at least 50% and that no student or trainee must be required to pay a deposit on tuition fees.
•NSFAF’s Funding System: The payment of tuition and non-tuition fees by NSFAF is often delayed, and this is a major concern for NANSO. The organization has demanded that NSFAF’s payment system be revised to ensure that tuition and non-tuition fees are paid on time and effectively.
•Accommodation: NANSO has called for the fast-tracking of the construction of the student village, as well as the regulation of student accommodation rent fees across the country. There must be standard, affordable, and reasonable rent fees in place.
•Bridging Courses: NANSO has proposed that institutions of higher learning offer bridging courses to accommodate the over 30,000 learners who are unable to progress to AS level or institutions of higher learning.
In addition, NANSO held a consultative meeting with student leaders, including SRC and TRC representatives. The meeting centred on financial exclusion, NSFAF’s funding policy, student funding, and work readiness. The student leaders resolved the following, with NANSO tasked with ensuring their practical implementation.
•Introduction of bridging courses at institutions of higher learning to accommodate students who are unable to meet entry requirements for various degree programs.
•Government, in collaboration with institutions of higher learning, must address the issue of historic student debt. NANSO has demanded that 50% of historic debts be written off, as the increasing cost of education has made it a mere dream for many Namibian students.
•NSFAF must fully fund tuition fees for VTCs and TVETs, and its funding policy must be revised to accommodate more courses and programs. The fund must also pay all tuition fees for 2022 in full by the end of February to allow students, especially the 2022 final- year students, to access their academic records.
•An Education Levy must be implemented to eliminate funding issues, which is the primary hindrance to access to higher and vocational education.