NSFAS Accredits More Than 79 000 Beds

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NSFAS is proceeding full steam ahead with its accommodation pilot. This is despite concerns that the newly implemented pilot could cause havoc at institution. 

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has expanded its Student Accommodation Pilot to include additional institutions.

The decision made by the Board in December 2023 means a total of 23 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and 17 Universities will participate in the accreditation processes for private student accommodation.

NSFAS says they have been actively engaging with institutions and key stakeholders, including SAPCO, USAf, SATVETSA, and SAUS, to communicate the objectives and principles of the pilot. These engagements were conducted on 7 December 2024 and 25 January 2024 and were aimed to ensure collaboration and consultation tailored to each institution's needs and capacities.

Out of the total beds registered, 32 272 in TVET Colleges and 47 150 in Universities have been accredited and made available for registered NSFAS-funded students. However, around 8 250 beds in TVET Colleges and 25 091 beds in Universities are still undergoing the accreditation process.

To streamline the application and placement process, NSFAS appointed Four Solution/Portal Partners and 39 Accrediting Agents. They said despite initial challenges such as delays in onboarding Accrediting Agents and payment issues, these obstacles have since been addressed. 

The role of Institutions has been instrumental in the onboarding process and collaborated with NSFAS to prioritise student accommodation. They have confirmed registration data, assisted with student allocation, and provided essential support throughout the implementation phase.

NSFAS also revealed that they have actively engaged with hotspot institutions, including Buffalo City TVET College and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). This comes after concerns about student accommodation challenges at these institutions. 

The NSFAS Board notes with concern instances of instability in some institutions as a result of student accommodation challenges.

At Buffalo City TVET College, NSFAS has successfully accommodated 732 out of 900 NSFAS beneficiaries in accredited private accommodation, demonstrating its commitment to student welfare.

The NSFAS Board confirmed that CPUT requested to be exempted from the 2024 pilot project. However, the Board remains committed to working with the university and student leaders to find solutions to all accommodation challenges at the university.   

It remains the NSFAS commitment to ensure that CPUT students are provided with student accommodation that is accessible, decent, safe, and conducive to learning.

NSFAS says it remains dedicated to providing continued support to institutions and students. Weekly training sessions for accommodation providers and students will continue until the end of February 2024. Furthermore, NSFAS will maintain its commitment to transparency by providing institutions with viewing rights to student portals.

The NSFAS will also continue to provide institutions viewing rights to the NSFAS student portals, including providing institutions with the day-to-day operating rights to the Accommodation Providers (APs) in terms of their premises

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