NSFAS Is Currently Assessing N+ Appeals

The Minister announced that students who are not funded and affected by the N+ rule and have issued appeals will have their applications looked at more closely. This process is currently underway as Universities submit information to NSFAS. 

Students have been raising complaints about the N+ rule and the Department and NSFAS have finally answered. NSFAS has decided to keep it but look at the reasons behind students needing funding for extra years of study as they now have access to this information. 

University has a submission deadline of 20 June to submit necessary information to NSFAS concerning all the relevant students so that they can be considered properly for funding from NSFAS for 2020.

The South African Union of Students has said that they encourage all students who were affected by the N+ rule to "approach your University SRCs and Financial Aid offices for further details on the implementation of the 3 interventions pronounced by the Minister". 

What SAUS also wants is for students who didn't have a chance to appeal to be allowed to do so through their relevant institutions. They have also said that NSFAS has so far processed 4500 N+ appeals successfully. They have a total of 12000 appeals to look at. 

Minister Nzimande has said that in 2020, the application of this rule has been more efficient. In a briefing this week, he said that the department found that the way the rule was applied before incorrect or done "in an unjust manner", the Minister said. They were neglecting to evaluate whether:

  • Reasons behind students de-registering in the first semester in prior years of study
  • Students were academic progress was affected by other factors, eg. psychosocial factors
  • Students who exceeded the rule based on the time on their system but are currently in their final year

Should students have lodged appeals for valid reason, they will be funded. 

The N+ rule gives room for students to be funded should they fail but it is also there to give students limitation on failure and motivation to exceed while also making funds and space available for new students to be funded. 

NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, has said that NSFAS was a broken system that is now being fixed and that this new process regarding the N+ rule is a positive change for the organisation. 


Read our previous article 'NSFAS N+ Rule Will Stay, Says Minister' here


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