Minister steps in to resolve funding problems

Universities South Africa says that it is pleased with the steps taken by Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor in an attempt to resolve the problems which the National Student Financial Aid Scheme has been battling with, writes Michael Pedro for EyeWitness News.

The student funding scheme is struggling to pay students who qualify for bursaries and has not dealt with payments dating back to last year. Randall Carolissen was recently appointed as the new administrator of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), while uncertainty still surrounds CEO Steven Zwane’s future.

Universities South Africa CEO Ahmed Bawa says he is concerned that NSFAS will not be able to manage the influx of new applications. The Department of Higher Education and Training has indicated that it aims to open applications in early September, despite the non-payment backlog. Bawa says that the funding issues have to be dealt with if the organisation wants to move forward. “We’re very worried about the fact that there hasn’t yet been close out on the 2017-2018 financial cycle. The evidence that we have from the universities is that there’s still millions of rands outstanding,” he said.
Full report on the EyeWitness News site