NSFAF funding detangled

22 July 2019 | Education

The higher education ministry has come to an agreement with the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and tertiary institutions to allow students to register for the second semester while a technical committee explores ways to solve the challenges of funding.

The Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) has confirmed that it extended its second semester registration period to 26 July, this Friday, following the release of a list of students sponsored by NSFAF.

The agreement was made by a high-level technical community that was put together to identify additional sources to provide funding to NSFAF-approved students.

This was confirmed by NSFAF's acting CEO Kennedy Kandume.

Meanwhile, the ministry, in a press statement commended the technical committee for a comprehensive report that shows the extended efforts that went into the exercise to explore possible additional sources of funding to mitigate the NSFAF deficit and to address the NSFAF budget shortfall.

This follows the student funding body's announcement in May this year that it is not able to assist a whopping 12 000 students that qualify for funding.

NSFAF announced at that time that out of the 15 087 students who met the minimum requirements for funding, only 2 925, which is less than 20%, would receive funds in the current academic year.

This prompted students, and their union, to stage several protests across the country as well as seeking an audience with President Hage Geingob.

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila then called an urgent meeting to bring the relevant stakeholders to the table.

At the time, in preparation for this meeting, Nanso had invited a host of young professionals in various fields to provide information, statistics and evidence on how the NSFAF funding crisis would affect not only students, but also the country's economy.

“We need to be fully prepared when we sit down with them. Right now students are panicking and are in limbo, because they are uncertain about their future,” Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) president Ester Simon said at the time.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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