NSFAS Appeals Outcomes Released

randall

Dr Randall Carolissen, NSFAS Administrator, spoke to SASCO about NSFAS procedures. Many things such as allowances, appeals and the issuing of devices was discussed.

SASCO took to Facebook Live to have a conversation with NSFAS Administrator Dr Randall Carolissen and many things were discussed.

Dr Randall spoke on what NSFAS’ goal is and stated, “NSFAS, as an instrument, was designed and is intended by Government to drive transformation in society by providing opportunities for poor people and to make sure that we transform the society beyond the education system.”

NSFAS aims to provide support to the most vulnerable individuals in society and to reach people who come from rural areas. In trying to decrease poverty and inequalities in South Africa, NSFAS invests billions into education.

Challenges

NSFAS has been having challenges in funding the missing middle segment during this pandemic.

They are not able to finish processing on funds as there are around 30,000 registration information from TVET College students that NSFAS hasn’t received. In order to disburse funds, NSFAS needs this information.

NSFAS aims to eliminate inequality and poverty. However, during this pandemic those are the very factors that are stopping from achieving their goals.

Devices for Students

Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, announced that NSFAS students will receive devices to make the move to online learning possible for everyone.

Dr Randall also said that the issue of devices for students are becoming a wider conversation amongst TVET College students.

Postgraduate Funding

Currently, NSFAS does not fund postgraduate studies which has been a major problem for many students. On this, Dr Randall has said that there are discussions happening with the National Research Fund (NRF) to find solutions for NSFAS beneficiaries who want to continue their studies after finishing their undergrad qualifications.

NSFAS Appeals

The Appeals Process is staying open during the National Lockdown.

Some students who have been successful in their Appeals have received their results. Of 10000 appeals received, 5000 have been approved. The rest were either rejected or have missing information which stops processing.

Students who were disqualified from being funded by NSFAS are encouraged to appeal. NSFAS has realised that some individuals’ household situations could have changed.

Applications

NSFAS received a low number of applications from the Free State. They are in hopes that this will change in 2021 and that more students will therefore have access to a higher education.

Majority of NSFAS applications came from Kwazulu-Natal.

“About half of our applications come from students who were not in matric in 2019. This is encouraging that older students and those who are jobless are also taking the opportunity if what NSFAS offers,” said Dr Randall.

Paying of Funds

NSFAS has paid R11 billion to 600,000 students so far.

They have found that the process of giving funds to institutions and having institutions pay students is not exactly running as well as they thought it would. They have therefore had more TVET Colleges use NSFAS Wallet.

32 of the 50 TVET Colleges use NSFAS Wallet while the remaining 18 present some challenges. These challenges include these institutions not operating during lockdown which means students are not receiving their allowances and that NSFAS finds it difficult to get the money to institutions to disburse.

NSFAS wants to eliminate all third parties and have funds be paid directly to students to get rid of frustrations. They are therefore encouraging students to open bank accounts so that by 2021, all TVET College allowances will be sent through direct deposits into students’ bank accounts.

 

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