SABC News - NSFAS leaves scores of N West university students in the lurch:Tuesday 5 February 2013

NSFAS leaves scores of N West university students in the lurch

Tuesday 5 February 2013 09:11

SABC

 The National Students Financial Aid Scheme's funds are not enough for students at the University of North West Mafikeng campus.

The National Students Financial Aid Scheme's funds are not enough for students (SABC)

Close to a thousand students at the Mafikeng Campus of the North West University, who qualified for the government’s National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), have been turned down. The university says the money allocated to it by NSFAS is not enough to cater for these students. 


Over R47 million is owed to this campus by more than 6 000 students who have subsequently been excluded as they cannot afford tuition.

 

Students at this campus face a bleak future, one of them is 19 year-old Tsakani Myamaba from Makhado in Limpopo. Her mother is a single parent of six children and is unemployed. 

 

“I don’t know who will help me. The municipality has paid R6 000 for registration and for now I don’t even have a place to stay. I’m staying at a village and we are seven at one room.” She says that she is desperate. 


Meanwhile, the university has also increased its fees by 10.3%, while funds by NSFAS remain unchanged. However the university maintains that it is not to blame for lack of student’s funds.


Ettiene Mostert from Mafikeng Campus at North West University says: “We received an allocation of R149 million for the North West University as a whole from NFSAS. Obviously that is not enough money to cover up for each and every student who applies unfortunately. The reality is that some students will be left out if they cannot pay for themselves.”



There is a possibility that more funds can be allocated to the university next week

The Department of Higher Education says the problems could only be averted if universities keep constant interaction with NSFAS.


Director General for Higher Education Gwebinkundla Qonde says; “At the moment the process of registration, which would have various challenges per institutions, they are culpable in actually handling and managing those processes through interaction with NFSAS.”


There is a possibility that more funds can be allocated to the university next week. But whether this will be enough remains to be seen.

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