Fee-free generation: Young people being assisted to register their myNSFAS accounts.
Hundreds of out-of-school youth and grade 12 learners from Queenstown, Hewu Rural area, Sada Township and Ezibeleni rural area flocked to iKhala TVET College in Eastern Cape, to apply for funding on Saturday, 17 November 2018.
The visit to the college by NSFAS agents was part of a two-day activation campaign which started on Friday; visiting the Nonesi Mall, three taxi ranks and Ezibeleni to create awareness on how to apply for the NSFAS funding, as well as creating awareness on the applications' closing date.
Joined by the NSFAS Regional Director deployed in the area,Simphiwe Nxumalo, the team assisted over 300 students with creating their myNSFAS accounts and successfully processed over 200 online applications in three computer labs provided by the College.
The college's staff members who were more than pleased to assist on the day of the activation extended their invitation to the community to utilise the facilities for applying online until the closing of applications on 30 November.
Securing a future through a mouse click: NSFAS agent assisting a leaner to apply online.
With only two weeks left before the closing date of the 2019 application cycle, NSFAS expects the number of applications for funding to increase significantly.
As of 09 November 2018, the scheme recorded a total of 231 536 applications from young people across the country for both universities and TVET colleges, with over 200 880 on the evaluation stage and 129 129 applications successfully evaluated.
“NSFAS’ finances are very healthy, as we are funded over a medium term. Our funding is secured over a medium-term framework. We do have funding for the next three years and can meet our obligation and comfortably meet the uptake of the demand” said NSFAS Administrator Dr Randall Carolissen in a recent interview.
As NSFAS officially marks the 10 day-countdown tomorrow(20/11-18), before the closing date on 30 November, the Marketing and Communications Department will pursue a robust social media takeover; assisting colleagues deployed on the ground in different regions, to spread the word encouraging students to apply before the closing date.
"We do have funding for the next three years and can meet our obligation and comfortably meet the uptake of the demand”
- Dr Randall Carollissen
NSFAS’ re-visits its funder management strategy
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is working on a new Funder Management Programme Strategy which is set to strengthen the organisation’s capacity for fundraising.This is according to NSFAS’ Administrator Dr. Randal Carolissen during a presentation at the 2018 Funders Symposium held in Gauteng on Friday, 09 November 2018.
His presentation focused on ‘Impact and the Reality of Fee Free Education’.
Dr. Carolissen shared that the strategy recognises the fact that for successful implementation of the fundraising activities to take place, there is a need to build capacity where applicable at international level.
This tool which will help NSFAS develop meaningful partnerships, has four pillars; Broadening the resource channels; Framework of Dialogue with Funders; Capacity for fundraising and Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation.
“Some of the envisaged partnerships include maximizing the value for the donor/funder as the strategy demands that NSFAS acquire expert knowledge about business and the goals of each funder. Additionally, it will also provide the growth required to supplement the income decline due to NSFAS business model changing to a Bursary organisation.
Dr. Randal also used the platform to give the delegates the status quo of the organisation since it was placed under administration, highlighting that staff members have put in a lot of hard work to improve turnaround times and get rid of the backlogs.
Minister Pandor leads Vhembe TVET College Imbizo
The Minister’s visit driven under the Higher Education Hiv/aids Programme (HEAIDS), was aimed at igniting conversations between students and the higher education sector stakeholders, significantly contributing towards the establishment of healthy environment for students and staff in institutions, and to address issues of career guidance and violence on campuses.
Forming part of the delegation was NSFAS Administrator Dr Randall Carolissen, MEC of Health in Limpopo, Dr Ramathuba, CEO of HEAIDS, Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia, Limpopo traditional leader, Chief Vho- Gole Mphaphuli, and DHET Director General, Mr Gwebikundla Qonde.
Pandor officially launched a newly built campus clinic which will provide students with services for testing and screening for HIV, STIs, TB, blood glucose and blood pressure measuring and family planning.
Students also raised their concerns relating to delayed 2018 payments of student fees, 2019 applications, and general campus management.
“We have made a lot of progress with NSFAS since the appointment of the Administrator, disbursing a significant amount of funds to eligible students. This is an opportunity for you to interact with the department and it’s supporting structures to table any matters or queries you might have” Pandor said.
The sky is the limit: Mathebula ready to tackle legal battles
Former security guard Foster Mathebula is proof that it's never too late to achieve one's dreams. Mathebula who graduated with his LLB Degree two weeks ago from the University of South Africa (UNISA) is one of thousands of people funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.He was funded by NSFAS from 2013 until 2018.
The 36 years old Limpopo born graduate said that he had to juggle tough university curriculum with his stringent duties at work to achieve his dreams.Adding that he couldn’t have made it without the support of his former classmates,colleagues and NSFAS.
"I enslaved myself. My challenge was to stay employed while studying. I worked with integrity while making sure that my studies were not compromised," he said.
The former security guard is currently a registered Masters student and aims to immediately study for his PhD after completion. He is also serving his internship with the G4S security company's legal department, focusing on Labour Law.
National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise gives NSFAS a well deserved pat on the back
Following months of scrutiny on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’ (NSFAS) capabilities to execute its mandate of providing higher education funding to thousands of students and young people, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has finally recognised the progress made by the scheme since it was placed under administration.
The Council expressed praise and well-wishes to NSFAS on its quest to successfully and completely purge its backlog and congratulated Dr. Randall Carolissen on the work done thus far through a motion of congratulations.
Forming part of the congratulatory motion was the improved systems NSFAS has employed to allow each applicant to be considered with great care and enormous attention, and the already received 500 000 applications since the arrival of the Administrator.
National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise gives NSFAS a well deserved pat on the back
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) together with the University of Venda (UNIVEN) hosted the first Assistive
Device Handover event on 27 August 2018 at the university in Thohoyandou. Through the NSFAS Disability Bursary Programme
the scheme has funded 2 915 students living with disability across all 26 universities and 50 TVET colleges.
The NSFAS Disability Bursary Programme provides financial support to students with disabilities who need financial aid and
possess the ability to pass their academic subjects. The NSFAS Disability Fund covers the costs of tuition, registration, books,
accommodation, meals. In addition to paying for students’ full cost of study, the Disability Fund also provides funded students
with assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs, hearing aids, adapted laptops etc) and Human Support (carers).
The aim of the fund is to open opportunities in higher education, by providing the necessary additional teaching and support for
students to overcome learning barriers which have resulted from disability. For a student living with a disability to be considered
for the NSFAS bursary, their disability must be disclosed on the application form (whether online or the paper-based application).
University of Venda is one of the institutions which have the highest number of students living with disability. Some of the
contributing factors to the high incidences of disabilities are attributed to poverty, malnutrition, insufficient medical care, and a
lack of access to health facilities. Since 2001 UNIVEN began to move towards the institutionalization of services for students with
disabilities by appointing staff members on a part-time basis. UNIVEN is able to cater for students with various disabilities with
the funds administered by NSFAS. The different forms of disability are listed as:
- Blindness; Partially-sighted
- Deaf; Deaf-Blind
- Hearing impaired; Hard of hearing
- Neurodevelopmental disabilities
- Psychosocial disabilities
- Physical disability
- Chronic illness
The UNIVEN Disabled Students Unit has 192 students with various disabilities who registered for academic support. During the
2018 academic year the institutions Disability Unit worked closely with NSFAS to purchase devices for 74 registered students,
this is an immense achievement to have this large number of students receive assistive devices in one year. Over 100 students attended the event where a variety of assistive devices such as scooters and laptops were handed out to
provide the much-needed support to students living with disability in order to help them access the same quality education as
their abled bodied peers.
NSFAS together with UNIVEN would like to urge students living with disabilities wishing to further their higher education to apply
for the NSFAS Disability Bursary Programme during the 2019 application cycle. Returning students who have not signed their
agreements are urged to do by going to www.nsfas.org.za and signing their agreements before it is too late.
NSFAS exhibits at Annual Nelson Mandela Career Development Festival
A total of 3 197 Grade 11 and 12 learners from 10 schools around Mvezo Village in Eastern Cape, participated in a three days Annual Nelson Mandela Career Development Festival held from 18 July 2018 – 20 July 2018.
The Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET) event was aimed at enriching, advising and guiding learners of available Post-School Education and Training (PSET) study opportunities, was National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Ms Naledi Pandor, gave a key note address; and she was accompanied by Director-General Gwebinkundla Qonde, and MEC for Education in Eastern Cape, Mandla Makupula.
“I urge you to apply now at universities and colleges. Make sure that you make use of this free education opportunity to reach for your dreams. Do it for yourselves and do it for Mandela” Pandor said.
The Minister also announced that she will be making available 100 bursaries for leaners who wish to pursue skills in high demand, from quantile one to three within the district.
The festival started on Wednesday with leaners engaging with exhibitors which included Eskom, Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA), Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) National Skills Fund (NSF), Stellenbosch University, Department of Labour, and Kheta.
Following a successful engagement with learners on the open day of the event, exhibitors sealed the festival by visiting five school around the province on Thursday and Friday, which are; Bazindlovu S.S.S, Dalibaso S.S.S, Zwelodumo S.S.S, Tyelinzima SSS, and Chief N.Z. Mtirara.
NSFAS in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training(DHET) has embarked on a nationwide on-campus activation to launch the NSFAS Bursary Agreement (NBA) currently available for signing. Since 10 May 2018 NSFAS has been sending out notifications for the signing of the Agreement to all First Time Entering Students (FTENs) and senior students that are receiving NSFAS funding for the first time.
Led by DHET Deputy Minister Buti Manamela and CEO Steven Zwane,the activation campaign commenced in the KZN Province with the team visiting Mangosuthu University,Durban University of Technology and the Elangeni and Thekwini TVET colleges.
Students were assisted with all NBA related issues, assisted to sign the agreement on site and were also given an opportunity to ask any other questions related to their NSFAS applications and funding. CEO Steven Zwane encourage he students to work together with the scheme to ensure that funding decisions are concluded swiftly to ensure that they receive their allowances on time. “Let’s understand each other’s role, students should provide all necessary missing documents such as proof of income or consent forms so that NSFAS is able to make the necessary funding decisions”,He said. NSFAS has generated 67 177 to date and 49 746 have been signed
NSFAS brings light to thousands of Mpumalanga pupils
An estimated 7000 number of pupils around the Ehlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga Province flocked to a career expo organised by the Provincial Inter-Departmental and Stakeholder Career Guidance Forum in partnership with Career Exhibitions and Information Association (CEISA).
The week-long event, which started from 21 May 2018 until 25 May 2018 enabled NSFAS and other sector exhibitors, which included South African Institute of Chartered Accountant (SAICA), MSC Business College and Innovatus Nelspruit College amongst others, to inculcate the pupils about the importance of applying to tertiary institution on time and taking advantage of the newly introduced DHET Bursary administered by NSFAS.
The Grade 11 and 12 from pupils from 96 different schools around the district, attended the career expo on separate allocated dates, and were accompanied by their teachers. During the exhibition, were furnished with broachers other materials to read about available opportunities.
Fee-free education, what’s in it for the nation?
Participate in a minimum of 10 (ten) days or 80 (eighty) hours of community service or special project work, of the students own choosing – to inculcate a culture of giving back and working towards betterment of our country. The student may undertake this work at any time during the year in their vacation time, over weekends or during term time in afternoons/mornings where they do not have classes or tutorials to attend Student must submit a report confirming participation, signed by the manager of the programme supported, once a year. Confirmation of participation is a requirement for continued funding in the following year.
He/she will remain in the country and participate in the economy in whichever way for at least the number of years they have benefited from NSFAS funding Students who wish to undertake further studies in another country may be permitted to do so, if they undertake to return to RSA to participate in the economy for at least the number of years they have benefited from NSFAS Funding Students who immigrate before the expiry date of the service commitment period shall be required to pay back the money before they leave the country. The amount shall be payable in one lump-sum payment or in such other manner as NSFAS is satisfie.