NSFAS needs to be more efficient - Pandor

2017-03-22 19:43
Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor speaks to the media after her submission to the Fees Commission in Centurion. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor speaks to the media after her submission to the Fees Commission in Centurion. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Pretoria - The NSFAS is a viable option for needy students, but needs to become more efficient and have better administration, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday.

"We are by no means saying that NSFAS is perfect. We are saying it is an institution that we have and we can improve it," she said during submissions to the final leg of the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission) in Centurion.

She went over resolutions the African National Congress had taken since 1994 to improve access to education and the achievement of a progressively free education.

"We are saying that the ANC and government have made advances in support for students in higher education, but that much more needs to be done in order to be in accord with resolutions and policies adopted by the ANC," she said.

There was a need to develop a framework for regulating fees and increase support from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for poor and "missing middle" students.

She called for a review of the current block-grant university funding, and funding for science and engineering students, and artisans to attract and retain young people in these fields.

President Jacob Zuma established the commission in January 2016 to investigate the feasibility of free tertiary education. Student protests had flared up on campuses nationwide since October 2015 to demand free education.

The commission‚ which has already submitted an interim report to the presidency‚ was expected to conclude its work by the end of June.

Head of NSFAS, Sizwe Nxasana, and the Department of Higher Education and Training would appear before the commission on Thursday.

Read more on:    nsfas  |  naledi pandor  |  education  |  university fees  |  university protests

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