NSFAS Latest News 2022

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) wants to ensure that the academic year gets off to a good start and is therefore calling on further qualified institutions, who wish to be part of the process, to come forward. We will ensure that funded students receive all of their allowances on time and not face delays that could have an impact on their academic year

Recently, Universities South Africa (USAf) requested a meeting with key stakeholders in a push to review the proposed changes to the way NS-FAS will conduct business during the academic year 2023.

NSFAS has put forward the draft guidelines for the 2023 academic year. If approved, it will result in a 3% increase of aid across all study fields of higher education.

These draft guidelines, if approved, will impact students and how the bursary funds are managed.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) has been hit with criticism by USAf. The association raised their concerns as Nsfas plans to issue students with paid-for banking cards and services (that are currently free), challenge proposed financial capping of accommodation allowances, and an envisaged plan by Nsfas to accredit student accommodation without the assistance of universities.

USAf invited key stakeholders to a meeting including Nsfas members, the higher education department, several university representatives and the SA Union of Students (SAUS).

The meeting aimed to bring about solutions and the formulation of a joint risk mitigation strategy while ensuring universities can register students without significant disruptions.

By the end of this year, Nsfas will roll out a new student banking service which allows students to access their funds directly from an ATM. It will also allow students to make transactions such as buying groceries on their own without needing third party service providers to do so. The scheme believes this will give more control over students’ money.

USAf said they were concerned as to whether Nsfas was ready to begin its implementation of this student allowance payment method. This as students faced several delays in previous years due to payment delays.

Students in South Africa who use the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will be paid their allowances during the first months of the new year. The scheme made provision to the tune of R3.5 billion for the payment of student allowances between February and April 2023.

USAf raised concerns with Nsfas’ proposal to cap the student accommodation allowance of R45,000. We recommend that empirical data should be used as a basis for this allowance to ensure students have access to suitable accommodation while obtaining their qualifications.

In an unprecedented move, Nsfas has issued multiple formal and informal statements announcing the launch of its MasterCard solution in spite of not having received approval from the Minister or guidance from Department of Higher Education.


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