NSFAS UNDERGOING FINANCIAL FALLDOWN
by Lebogang Mokoena Reproving escalating university tuition or seeing a way forward? Government loan and bursary initiative for destitute students, the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is facing a financial fall down despite a R200 thousand top up for the 2015 academic year, warning beneficiaries (students) that exorbitant university fees are the main cause putting a strain and finite opportunities for students. Despite President Jacob Zuma lamenting on rising university fees, the Department of Higher Education and Training disagrees with this statement saying that it is due to meet with the Vice Chancellors of various universities in order to come to a conclusion on how better to solve this problem, The New Age reported. Other factors that may contribute to NSFAS financial problems were started by Director general Gwebinkundle addressing media on Monday said the scheme’s funds which were available have not only being affected by increasing fees but fraud and corruption such as false information and the collaboration of students with workers of the scheme.The scheme assists 26 universities which includes 204 522 students, 44 thousand ND, 37 thousand of 50 vocational institutions and 37 423 students for the Skills Education Training Authority (SETA) within its allocated budget of R9, 5 billion overlooking to allocate it among an approximated number of 425 thousand students. This includes both existing and first applicants. A forensic investigation system is implemented in hope to curb similar problems in future and to also decrease protests during the year. Minister of the Higher Education Blade Nzimande advices students to consider other opportunities such as TVET colleges and SETA which aim to strengthen value-chain linkages between related industries as alternatives to acquire skills by the country.