Students welcome plan to roll out regional funding offices

Pupil and student representative bodies have lauded the announcement that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will be opening regional offices in all nine provinces as of next year to better serve them, writes Phumla Mkize for Sunday World.

The South African Union of Students (SAUS), which represents student representative councils of South Africa’s 26 universities, and the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), which represents pupils, have welcomed the news this week by Minister of Higher Education Science and Technology Blade Nzimande that NSFAS will have a regional footprint to improve service delivery. Nzimande told Sunday World: “We will start as of next year. If we can, this year.”

SAUS National Spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa said the announcement was in line with calls by students. “It falls squarely on the proposals made by students. The office in Cape Town is inaccessible,” he said, adding that most students interacted with NSFAS through its online services. “Another shortfall is that the majority of the services require technology and electricity,” he said. “Though they are zero-rated, not everyone has access to them”.
Full report on the Sunday World site