NSFAS Stories

19 May 2021

NSFAS Board and PCHEST come together for students' sake during a working visit to the NSFAS offices
On Thursday, November 26, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. Blade Nzimande ushered in a new era for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as he announced the appointment of the new leadership set to assume the reigns at the end of the administration term this December.



The National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS’) Board met with the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology (PCHEST) at the NSFAS Head office on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The main purpose of the meeting was to formally introduce the members of the Board to PCHEST and to provide an overall status update on 2021 funding.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS’) Board met with the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology (PCHEST) at the NSFAS Head office on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The main purpose of the meeting was to formally introduce the members of the Board to PCHEST and to provide an overall status update on 2021 funding.

The members of PCHET and the NSFAS Board were first taken through the NSFAS student journey via a student experience exhibition, where stalls were demarcated to cover the process of Application, Evaluation, Financial and Academic Eligibility, Appeals, Registration and Disbursement, Payment to students using the NSFAS Wallet as well as payment to students whose funds are channelled through their institutions.

During the exhibition, the NSFAS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Andile Nongogo took the attendees through the entire process; providing process and system information at each stage the students’ application goes through before a funding decision is made.

As part of the scheme’s bid to better clarify the two methods of allowance disbursements in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector, Ms. Vuyokazi Mafilika, NSFAS' General Manager for TVET Operations comprehensively unpacked the allowance payment process for students receiving their funds through the NSFAS Wallet and those receiving direct payments from institutions.

After the exhibition, the delegates gathered in a closed-door session during which the board briefed PCHEST on its plan to turn around the scheme and improve services to students. Thereafter, the Board Chairperson, Mr. Ernest Khosa, and PCHEST Chairperson Mr. P. Mapulane, MP, jointly addressed members of the media who were present.

“As a principle, the current Board recognises the value of continuous, constructive and consultative engagements with PCHEST, towards achieving the shared goal of turning the institution around for the benefit of the key stakeholder, the student," said, Mr. Khosa.



18 December 2020

New NSFAS leadership steps in as administration comes to an end
On Thursday, November 26, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. Blade Nzimande ushered in a new era for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as he announced the appointment of the new leadership set to assume the reigns at the end of the administration term this December.



On Thursday, November 26, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. Blade Nzimande ushered in a new era for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as he announced the appointment of the new leadership set to assume the reigns at the end of the administration term this December.

On Thursday, November 26, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. Blade Nzimande ushered in a new era for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as he announced the appointment of the new leadership set to assume the reigns at the end of the administration term this December.

The announcement of the new head honchos in the form of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the NSFAS board was made during a media briefing on The Progress Made in the Post-School Education and Training Sector’s Response to the COVID-19 Lockdown Level One and the End of the 2020 Academic Year.

During his address, Dr. Nzimande said he was grateful for the work the Administrator had performed in turning the organisation around. “NSFAS is a much better entity now, than it was when you first took over,” he said.

When briefing the media on the new NSFAS management, the minister announced that the incoming board will be led by the current Chairperson of the South African Civil Aviation Authority, Ernest Khosa in his capacity as the NSFAS Board Chairperson.

Other Board members appointed include Yonke Twani, Bamanye Matiwane, Jullie Beya, Cyril Madiba, Reshma Mathura, Max Fuzani, Richard Msweli, Pumela Msweli, Sanele Zondi, Lindiwe Matlali and Pretty Makukule.

Mr. Andile Nongogo was announced as the new NSFAS CEO as Dr. Nzimande emphasized the need to bring individuals with actuarial and social dialogue skills and experience to the party. Dr. Nzimande acknowledged the effort the Administrator and his team went through to find a suitable candidate and firmly expressed his approval of the appointment.

Our CEO Andile, hails from Kokstad in the KwaZulu-Natal Province and says he is looking forward to working closely with staff, including the younger generation to benefit from their untapped ideas. “Young people feel no need to conform, thus they colour outside the lines and are not afraid to come up with new ideas. However, that still needs to be balanced with discipline, hard work and experience”, Andile said.

When talking about his action plan for the next coming weeks, Andile says his immediate focus after stepping into office is to better understand the business operations and gain support and cooperation of all staff members, to enable a conducive working environment. He added that for the organisation to run properly, it is equally important to ensure that our work is performance-based, and our structure is fit for purpose. We must be of the understanding that every staff member within the organisation is employed to serve the public and should always be responsive to our stakeholders. Thus, we will strive to build a model public institution that delivers on its mandate of serving the public diligently, achieve positive outcomes, with sound financial management, and recognises its key resources (staff).

Andile added that, it goes without saying that we will not go far with our best intentions if we do not have proper tools of trade and supporting systems to deliver our work. We cannot run an organisation in the 21st century using 18th century methods.

Andile says his fulfilment comes from serving the public, and that has been the motivation behind his decision to join NSFAS, which is an institution that grants today’s generation the break to end the cycle of poverty in underprivileged families and communities.

On December 04, NSFAS Executives held their first EXCO where the CEO had the opportunity to meet the leadership team.

11 June 2020

Almost 9 000 appeals to go under review over N+2 rule
On Tuesday, June 09, 2020, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. Blade Nzimande held a media briefing at the Government Communication Information System (GCIS) offices in Pretoria, to give an update on progress in the implementation of measures by the post-school education sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



On Tuesday, June 09, 2020, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. Blade Nzimande held a media briefing at the Government Communication Information System (GCIS) offices in Pretoria, to give an update on progress in the implementation of measures by the post-school education sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a lengthy statement, the minister, joined by NSFAS Administrator, Dr. Randall Carolissen, also addressed student’s concerns relating to the N+2 rule, remote teaching and learning, and the distribution of electronic devices.

The minister said the department was in consultation with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to review student appeals relating to the N+2 rule; for those who may have been improperly disqualified for funding.

“After I had requested NSFAS to look into this matter and check if indeed some of the issues raised by the students could have some validity, we discovered that there are cases where the application of the rule may have been applied inappropriately or in an unjust manner”, the minister said.

He added that NSFAS will be reviewing almost 9 000 student appeals, to serve three N+2 exceptions; students who may have de-registered in the first semester for prior years of study due to financial or other reasons, yet the academic year is counted as time spent in the system, students affected by medical or psycho-social challenges and had provided proof, and students currently in their final year of study and will be graduating in 2020.

NSFAS Administrator, Dr. Randall Carolissen conceded to the minister’s submission, adding that NSFAS cannot be found in a position where it funds a student without cease, while there are students out there equally needing the funding.

The minister also announced that NSFAS will lead and advise the department on how to roll out the project of electronic devices (laptops), which will be procured through an open tender.

“NSFAS will be the contracting party on behalf of the Department of Higher Education and Training. They will be using the NSFAS funding policy to ensure that they remain compliant with government policy and prescripts” he added.

Dr. Nzimande however, called on parents and student leadership to also play their part in assisting students, to ensure that work continues; and no student is left behind.

13 May 2020

NSFAS adjusting towards the “new normal” and doing well
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many industries and organisations to adjust their operational methods and systems. The lockdown regulations have hit hard on the markets and economy, also penetrated the education and financing sector, forcing the government funding scheme to rope in new ways of funding and communicating with its stakeholders.



The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many industries and organisations to adjust their operational methods and systems. The lockdown regulations have hit hard on the markets and economy, also penetrated the education and financing sector, forcing the government funding scheme to rope in new ways of funding and communicating with its stakeholders.

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many industries and organisations to adjust their operational methods and systems. The lockdown regulations have hit hard on the markets and economy, also penetrated the education and financing sector, forcing the government funding scheme to rope in new ways of funding and communicating with its stakeholders.

Since the beginning of the national lockdown, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), has adopted different operational models and has since been able to reach out to thousands of needy students by means of continued funding.

With both the basic and higher education sectors faced with uncertainty in relation to the 2020 academic year, NSFAS, however continues to find ways to bridge the gap.

Recently, NSFAS onboarded its new outreach system that will ensure a smooth blend for the new academic year, by working together with the Department of Basic Education, exhibitors and other key stakeholders.

The scheme’s Executive Administrator, Dr. Randall Carolissen, in his interview with eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) said that NSFAS is in a process of strengthening its partnership with the Department of Basic Education to prepare for the 2021 academic year.

“For the 2021 academic year, we are planning a virtual outreach, to enable students to apply on time. Last year we had a physical outreach, where we went out to all the rural areas”, the Administrator said.

21 February 2019

50 unemployed graduates offered a stepping stone through the NSFAS-UIF partnership
South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his maiden Budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday, 20 February 2019. Find the extracted points regarding funding for higher education and training as well as the full copy of the budget …



In a country marred by high levels of youth unemployment, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has, through a partnership with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), given 50 unemployed NSFAS funded graduates from the Western Cape Province a helping hand.

In a country marred by high levels of youth unemployment, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has, through a partnership with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), given 50 unemployed NSFAS funded graduates from the Western Cape Province a helping hand. This fruitful partnership was officially launched today, May 03, in a media briefing held in the Western Cape Province.

This much needed opportunity in the form of a Graduate Programme, will see the 50 graduates being placed at NSFAS offices for a period of 12 months to gain work experience in their respectful fields.

“Youth unemployment has characterised the struggles of our young people in the past years and still continues to do so currently. As National Student Financial Aid Scheme, we are at the forefront of young people’s frustrations and are the first ones to see the impact of high numbers of graduates who have completed their studies but are unable to find employment”, NSFAS Administrator Dr. Randall Carolissen said during the launch. He added that NSFAS commends the UIF and the Department of Labour for this prestige opportunity in ensuring that graduates can play a part in the country’s economy. “This training programme is the first of its kind, and therefore needs to be celebrated”.

The launch was attended by the selected graduates, officials from UIF, NSFAS and Department of Labour whose Director-General Mr. Thobile Lamati gave a keynote address and expressed his gratitude to all involved. "These are unique opportunities that come once in a life time, grab these opportunities with both hands”, he advised the graduates.

The opportunity has been met with truly grateful hearts as the graduates have indicated how overjoyed and excited they are about it."Unemployment is a huge problem in South Africa and we are grateful to have been given an opportunity. This initiative will not go unnoticed" said Luchulumanco Nanto speaking on behalf of the graduates who are placed at NSFAS.

Another beneficiary, Andile Mtsibantu who is a Public Management B-tech graduate said she was grateful for the opportunity as she cannot wait to see what’s beyond the NSFAS doors. “I want to give back and serve the society”, she added.

The participants are expected to start working at their respective departments on May 6, 2019.

21 February 2019

#RSABudget2019
South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his maiden Budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday, 20 February 2019. Find the extracted points regarding funding for higher education and training as well as the full copy of the budget …



South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his maiden Budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday, 20 February 2019. Find the extracted points regarding funding for higher education and training as well as the full copy of the budget speech for your information.

“Our children are our future. Most of the spending goes to education, and we will strengthen early childhood development and support higher education for the most deserving”

“Fully subsidised education and training for the poor is government’s flagship higher education intervention. Over the medium term government will spend R111.2 billion to ensure that 2.8 million deserving students from poor and working class families obtain their qualifications at universities and TVET colleges"

“Our children are our future. Most of the spending goes to education, and we will strengthen early childhood development and support higher education for the most deserving”

Download the 2019 Budget Speech

20 February 2019

NSFAS invests on better customer experience by increasing capacity of the Contact Centre
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has taken a decision to capacitate its Contact Centre to allow better customer experience for students and prospective beneficiaries. The decision followed a huge influx of calls experienced post 201…



The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has taken a decision to capacitate its Contact Centre to allow better customer experience for students and prospective beneficiaries.

The decision followed a huge influx of calls experienced post 2019 application cycle; with students enquiring about their application outcomes, appeals and disbursement of allowances.

“We received many complaints and negative feedback from our external stakeholders – DHET, students, institutions, and Vuvuzela hotline fielding calls/complaints from students who are not able to come through the contact centre. We thus needed an increase in staff capacity to be able to deal with the extra calls” said Winnie Phillie, Contact Centre Manager.

The additional contact centre agents will be assisting by dealing with calls,on a contract basis, until the end of the peak season; which is March 2019.

Between 01 December 2018 and 31 January 2019, we handled 141,826 out of 250,871 calls that came in, of which 109,045 were abandoned (unanswered). “The biggest challenge was not being able to meet our service levels, which says we must answer 80% of calls in 20 seconds. Not answering the calls meant we had to deal with frustrated and irate callers” Phillie added.

The improved service level is aimed at strengthening and generating a happy relationship between NSFAS and its stakeholders.

19 February 2019

Historic Debt; A Matter Between The Department and Universities
“No NSFAS qualifying student who was registered in 2018, and who has been admitted to a university and meets the academic criteria for continuation should be prevented from registering in 2019 due to outstanding fees”, said Minister of Higher Educat…



“No NSFAS qualifying student who was registered in 2018, and who has been admitted to a university and meets the academic criteria for continuation should be prevented from registering in 2019 due to outstanding fees”, said Minister of Higher Education and Training(DHET), Naledi Pandor, has on Friday, 15 February, as she set the record straight wit universities’ management and student leaders.

“No NSFAS qualifying student who was registered in 2018, and who has been admitted to a university and meets the academic criteria for continuation should be prevented from registering in 2019 due to outstanding fees”, said Minister of Higher Education and Training(DHET), Naledi Pandor, has on Friday, 15 February, as she set the record straight wit universities’ management and student leaders.

“We need to ensure that any student who is academically successful and unable to complete their studies for financial reasons, is enabled to complete. Government will find a way, in collaboration with institutions to resolve this matter urgently” Pandor said.

Part of students’ issues presented by SAUS were those related to finding solutions for accumulating debts and scrapping the financial exclusion of students on registration, addressing the lack of accommodation for students at institutions and the provision of government funding for postgraduate students.

The Minister added that the government is working on a framework which will see university fees being regulated as from 2020 onwards, to ensure affordability for all students who need assistance.

“I am particularly concerned about any final year students who may be on track to completion this year but may have been blocked from registering due to outstanding debt” the Minister said.

Minister concluded by reminding all parties that she will be making an announcement in relation to NSFAS-qualifying students’ historic debts before the end of March 2019.

13 February 2019

Placing NSFAS under administration was a positive move - Pandor
The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor has debated the State Of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019 with confidence and delight.The post SONA debate was held on 12 February 2019, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on 07 February 2018.



Pandor gave NSFAS a pat on the back, for ensuring that the 2019 academic year generates a “historic” moment for the government scheme in the disbursements of allowances, adding that the scheme needed to be put under administration.

“For the first time ever, student registration and NSFAS eligibility is working in tandem, together, in sync harmoniously, and many students have already received allowances” Pandor said.

The Minister said the recent appointment of an Administrator, Dr. Randal Carolissen, has vastly improved the performance of the scheme. “While there are many challenges remaining, NSFAS is on the right track. This year Government is providing R30,8 billion in grants to 750,000 students. This is a huge increase in a very short time” she said.

Meanwhile,Dr. Carolissen, appeared before the Portfolio Committee of Higher Education and Training yesterday, 13 February 2019, to give highlights and updates of the scheme’s successes and challenges as per the terms of refences of his portfolio.

“NSFAS has disbursed more than R21 Billion of the 22 Billion budgeted for 2018 funding cycle. A total of 707 332 Students have been funded in 2018. In partnership with DHET, allowances were standardised with improved equity between TVETS and Universities. Institutions and students have been consulted and new rules and guidelines updated, canvassed and communicated” he reported.

The Administrator also reported that overall, 90% of funding decisions have been made for all applications, and only 33 000 are outstanding. “All student allowances are on a cash basis, enabling students to better manage finances, and NSFAS has approximately disbursed 50% of allowances to 229,877 students totaling to R345,616, 900 as of 10 February”, he added.

Both the Minister and the Administrator recognised the support of the institutions and student leaders, in achieving this great milestone; ensuring that students get their allowances on time.

“I am pleased that students and management are talking and working together to address the obstacles confronted by students. We can always find solutions” Pandor said.

08 February 2019

SONA 2019
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the 25th State Of The Nation Address(SONA) in Parliament last night, this is what he had to say about funding for higher education through NSFAS



South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the 25th State Of The Nation Address(SONA) in Parliament last night and this is what he had to say about funding for higher education through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme

* In line with government’s commitment to the right of access to higher education for the poor, last year we introduced free higher education for qualifying first year students. Thanks to this initiative, links have been re-established with all institutions, and institution heads and student leaders have played a critical role in communicating with students. The scheme is being phased in over a five year period until all undergraduate students who qualify in terms of the criteria can benefit.

* Stabilising the business processes of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will also be a priority in the coming year so that it is properly capacitated to carry out its critical role in supporting eligible students.

* We are concerned about developments on some campuses this week, especially reports of violence and intimidation. Of particular concern, is the tragic death of Mlungisi Madonsela, a student at the Durban University of Technology. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and call on law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident.

* We call on student representatives and university authorities to work together to find solutions to the challenges that students are facing.

08 February 2019

NSFAS hones relations with the AG to ensure better services to students
In one of NSFAS’ efforts to improve services offered to students, NSFAS Administrator Dr. Randall Carolissen and some of NSFAS executive committee members met with the Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa, Mr. Kimi Makwetu.



The courtesy meeting was to bring the AG up to speed on the progress made by the organisation to date, with regards to student funding.

During the meeting, NSFAS updated the AG on the various steps the scheme has taken to restore governance and fix systems since it was placed under administration in September 2018, as well as highlight the plans to further reduce the backlog from the previous year to ensure a smooth 2019.

Subsequent to the meeting,NSFAS will conduct a workshop with the Auditor-general’s office in the Western Cape to take them through the new NSFAS systems,such as the disbursement of cash allowances to students and the NSFAS funding cycle, from applications to payment of allowances.

“The most important achievement from the meeting is the agreement made that the two organisations need to start working more closely together to ensure a comfortable academic year for all NSFAS funded students, and today was definitely a step in the right direction”,said NSFAS’ Administrator Dr. Randall Carolissen.

28 January 2019

“NSFAS funding changed my life”- Ayabulela Mlisa
Ayabulela Mlisa, NSFAS’ Loans and Bursaries Administrator, has given praise to the funding scheme for changing his life, and that of his family.



“NSFAS funding changed my life”- Ayabulela Mlisa


It’s a story which deserves to be told. Ayabulela Mlisa, NSFAS’ Loans and Bursaries Administrator, has given praise to the funding scheme for changing his life, and that of his family.Mlisa who is from Mont Frere in Eastern Cape, has not let socio-economic challenges dictate his future and stop him from achieving his goals.

Upon completion of his matric, like many others; Mlisa had no financial means to further his education.

“Many of my peers lost hope and succumbed to dropping out and seized to aspire for a better future. I decided to apply to the College of Cape Town (Diploma-Business Management), where I was accepted to study and luckily, I was made aware of NSFAS of which subsequently funded my studies” Mlisa said.

NSFAS funded Mlisa for the duration of his course, however, Mlisa did not stop there; as he felt that he had not reached the goals which he had set for himself.

“It was at this point that I decided to apply to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), I was accepted and yet again knew that funding would be a huge issue for me to complete my studies and be able to make meaningful contribution to my family and community at large. Once more I applied for NSFAS funding and was accepted” Mlisa said.

The Loans and Bursaries Administrator said that he had to do part time jobs to make ends meet, as the support from NSFAS alone could not cover for everything he needed. Due to excellence in his academics, a portion of his funding was converted to a bursary which enabled him to further pursue a postgraduate qualification, (Degree-Project Management).

“Today I have one of the most rewarding jobs one can find, that of being part of an organisation that gives hope to many young people that come from poor communities, who have potential but lack financial means to pursue studies in higher education” Mliba said.

Additionally, Mlisa has a Diploma in Entrepreneurship and a Degree in Business Administration.

28 January 2019

NSFAS approves close to 60 000 social grant applicants
NSFAS has now validated and approved for funding an additional 11 613 social grant beneficiaries.



NSFAS approves close to 60 000 social grant applicants


NSFAS has now validated and approved for funding an additional 11 613 social grant beneficiaries. This follows a review process initiated by the Administrator Dr. Randall Carolissen in December last year.This brings the total number to 60 000.

The approved applicants will be fully funded subject to registration. NSFAS Spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said all the rejected students who were rejected for other reasons, their applications are still under review; and the outcome of the review will be communicated soon.

“This review has now reduced the number of ineligible students from the initial 109 000 in December 2018 to 58 000. Further work is being done through the appeals process” Mamabolo said in a statement.

28 January 2019

What better way to serve the NSFAS funded students than through joint efforts with institutions?
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in partnership with the South African Union of Students (SAUS)...



NSFAS, SAUS workshop deepens understanding on new funding processes and systems


What better way to serve the NSFAS funded students than through joint efforts with institutions?. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in partnership with the South African Union of Students (SAUS), on Thursday 24 January 2019, held a Financial Aid Workshop at the NSFAS offices in Wynberg, Cape Town.

The aim of the workshop was to deepen the understanding of the rapid changes of processes and systems happening within the Financial Aid Scheme, since the appointment of the Administrator.

Attended by the National Working Committee Members, SRCs, SAUS leardership, NSFAS Administrator and other representative from NSFAS; the workshop focused on key issues which included the application process, funding decisions process, disbursement of allowances, appeals process, and post funding process.

“The workshop managed to give us a clear understanding of most of the things we didn’t know about that are happening behind the scenes here at NSFAS” said SAUS President Misheck Mugabe.

SAUS and NSFAS resolved that the funding scheme will from, Monday 28 January, be available at all campuses to ensure a peaceful registration. “We will work together with the funding scheme, as student leadership; and deal with individual cases of students according to its merit” Mugabe said.

The funding scheme and the student leadership also agreed to working in unison in addressing student issues and improve on communication which ultimately affects the lives and future of students.

19 November 2018

Hundreds of young people flock to iKhala TVET College to apply for funding
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..



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.

19 November 2018

More applications anticipated as the 2019 deadline peaks
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.



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

12 November 2018

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



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.

12 November 2018

Minister Pandor leads Vhembe TVET College Imbizo
Following a series of protests and calls for the resignation of the College Principal early this year, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, led an Imbizo at the Vhembe TVET College, Makwarela Campus on Saturday 10 November 2018.



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.

22 October 2018

Former security guard and NSFAS beneficiary joins the SA justice system
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 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.

22 October 2018

NCOP applauds NSFAS on progress made
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.



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.

27 July 2018

NSFAS and University of Venda hand out assistive devices to 74 disabled students
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.


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.

20 June 2018

On-campus activation
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.



On-campus activation

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

01 June 2018

Fee-free education, what’s in it for the nation?
Terms and conditions with regards to fee free education



Fee-free education, what’s in it for the nation?

Community Service

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.

Service Commitment

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.