Talks intensify to resolve student funding issues

The Namibian Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, in collaboration with Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and student representative bodies, is currently engaging the universities’ leadership on the issue of student funding, writes Albertina Nakale for New Era Live.

With the current budget allocation of NAD1.138 billion (US$81.4 million), NSFAF is only able to fund study loans of 2,925 new applicants, out of 24,739 applications received. Although 9,650 of the received applications did not meet the funding requirements, 15,087 applicants did qualify for assistance. Continuing students are to be funded to the tune of NAD1.076 billion (US$77 million), the fund said.

NSFAF says the budget allocated to it falls short of NAD641 million. Due to this shortfall, which saw thousands of university students not receiving government financial assistance, many of those needy students were unable to register for the second semester. This irked a large group of tertiary students who recently staged a peaceful demonstration where they petitioned the NSFAF management as well as the minister of higher education, demanding that all qualified and eligible students should be funded despite where they are studying.
Full report on the New Era Live site