Slow NSFAS applications worrying - deputy minister

2016-11-16 18:48
Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Cape Town - Not enough prospective students are applying for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana said on Wednesday.

“It is quite a worrying factor, because we are expecting students to actually lodge applications in numbers given the wave of protests the last couple of months,” Manana told Parliament’s higher education committee.

He and his officials were briefing MPs on the readiness of universities for the 2017 academic year.

READ: UCT, Wits, CPUT and UWC closed - #FeesMustFall protest as it happened

The closing date for NSFAS applications is November 30.

“It’s quite discouraging. Why would students not apply when the window is open for them?” he asked.

He called on prospective students to seize the opportunity and apply.

If the number of students who had applied by November 30 was not at the desired level, he said, the organisation, with help from the department, would have to make a plan.

The department told the committee on Wednesday that all universities had completed their 2016 academic year. Some had had to think outside the box to finish the year.

All universities were on high alert while attempting to finish examinations and had support from security personnel.

The processing of new applications for 2017 was delayed at some institutions, but all universities had indicated that applications would be processed.

The department was setting up meetings with university registrars and finance executives in December to discuss finalising the 2016 academic year, fees for 2017, NSFAS student support, security on campuses, and applications for gap-year funding.

Read more on:    mduduzi manana  |  education  |  university fees

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