Universities to lose power to allocate student funds

Universities will soon lose their powers to allocate National Student Financial Aid Scheme funds to poor students as the government body tightens its grip on finances, reports BDLive.

Presenting the proposed new funding system at the University of the Witwatersrand last week‚ National Student Financial Aid Scheme, or NSFAS, Chairperson Sizwe Nxasana criticised universities for being part of the problem, hindering students from accessing funding to higher education. He said universities often did as they pleased when allocating NSFAS funds. In some cases universities would give students inadequate financial support and in return the same students would end up as drop-outs with bad debt.

According to the current NSFAS system‚ a single student qualifies for a maximum of R72,000 per year. Nxasana gave an example of a university that was given R400 million‚ but decided to allocate it to too many students. "As a result of that‚ each student got about R20,000 for that year and had to scrape around for extra funding for books and accommodation. Many of them dropped out and were left with heavy debt. This is the reason why we want to take control of every cent‚" Nxasana said.
Full report on the BDLive site