Altogether 70% of students enrolled at the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, are dependent on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
This fact emerged during a consultation between Ernest Khosa, chairperson of the NSFAS board, Andile Nongogo, chief executive officer, and members of the CUT management.
The consultation, which took place at the institution’s headquarters in Bloemfontein on Wednesday (24/11), is part of the ongoing nationwide engagements within the sector to find lasting solutions to challenges faced by NSFAS-funded students.
According to Khosa, the large percentage of CUT students studying through NSFAS signifies the importance of the institution.
“This is a very important university. Its role in the economic development of this country is not something that I would consider minimal. For that reason, we found it necessary to talk to the university.”
Khosa said challenges faced by students studying through this government-supported financial scheme necessitated the meeting with CUT’s management.
“NSFAS has challenges that cannot be addressed only at the bottom. For the board to understand these challenges, we need to talk to our stakeholders, including students, university management and our own staff,” said Khosa.
“It is important to have a face-to-face conversation where we can raise matters and come up with some solutions.”
According to Matthew Rantso, chairperson of the CUT’s council, the engagement was essential to ensure that students’ best interests are at the forefront of university matters.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Rantso said.
“We are focusing on matters that affect students most, such as the administration around capturing their data, how they receive their allowances and matters pertaining to accommodation.”