NSFAS-Qualifying Students With Debt Must Sign Form To Register
NSFAS-qualifying students with historic debt have now been given instructions on what to do if they want to register and can't afford to pay historic debt at the present moment. Protests against historic debt have been at the centre of higher education institutions around the country recently.
Students who are funded by NSFAS who have historic debt from the previous year must sign an Acknowledgement of Debt form to register, this is what the Department has directed in the midst of student protests concerning historic debt.
This would most likely apply to students who were either partially funded or not funded at all in prior years or have fees that NSFAS still needs to pay from the previous year.
Protests against historic debt are now in it's second week as students first demanded that students with historic debt be allowed to register and made further demands for historic debt to be wiped.
Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, has said:
NSFAS-qualifying students with historic debt are able to register when they sign an Acknowledgement of Debt (AoD) form, while the process is underway.
This does not apply for all students, only those who are funded by NSFAS.
The AoD form is usually administered through the relevant University.
With this form, the beneficiary is admitting that they owe money to the institution and aims to repay the money owed.
With demands coming from students to wipe historic debt, the Minister responded to this by saying that the department cannot afford to support all Universities to clear student debt and that budget cuts made this even more clear. In order for institutions to remain financially sustainable, they then cannot afford to clear student debt either.
The Department of Higher Education is not in a financial position to be able to support institutions to clear all student debt of fee-paying students.
The historic debt of NSFAS-qualifying students is being addressed through a process between NSFAS and institutions, said Nzimande.
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