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Are NSFAS Students Successfully Completing Their Courses?



Are NSFAS Students Successfully Completing Their Courses?

Are NSFAS Students Successfully Completing Their Courses? The Impact of NSFAS Bursaries on Student Success. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) plays a crucial role in supporting over one million students by providing comprehensive bursaries to those in need. These bursaries are designed to cover the full spectrum of costs associated with tertiary education, allowing students to concentrate solely on their academic pursuits.

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Qualifications for NSFAS Bursaries

To be eligible for an NSFAS bursary, students must be enrolled in an accredited program at a public university or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college. These bursaries encompass tuition fees, registration costs, and also include allowances for meals, accommodation, and stationery.

Performance of NSFAS-Funded Students

Recent inquiries by members of parliament have shed light on the academic performance of students receiving NSFAS funding at universities and TVET colleges.

According to the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, a total of 390,431 NSFAS beneficiaries successfully completed their courses at universities, while 102,252 did not meet the necessary passing requirements. Additionally, at TVET colleges, 108,161 NSFAS-funded students met the passing criteria, but 90,779 fell short.

The Minister was unable to provide precise information on the number of NSFAS-funded students who deregistered or dropped out of their courses. He mentioned that NSFAS is actively collaborating with institutions to finalize these figures.

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Changes in NSFAS Allowance Payments

NSFAS, which provides support to more than a million students, offers various allowances, including accommodation, living, and meal allowances.

In 2022, NSFAS unveiled its plan to transition to direct payments of these allowances to students. This payment system was initially introduced at TVET colleges and was extended to encompass universities in 2023.

Termination of Contracts with Allowance Payment Service Partners

NSFAS has made the decision to terminate contracts with service providers responsible for directly disbursing student allowances. This action follows a meticulous review of findings from an investigation into potential conflicts of interest related to the appointment of these service providers.

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The investigation conducted by Werksmans Attorneys identified possible connections between key individuals, including CEO Andile Nongogo, and the Fintech companies selected to administer allowances directly to students.

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