WINDHOEK - With the current budget allocation of N$1.138 billion, the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (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 N$1.076 billion, the fund said.
NSFAF says the budget allocated to it falls short of N$641 million.
This was revealed by NSFAF Assistant for Marketing and Communication Josefina Oskar, who informed applicants, institutions of higher learning and all other stakeholders about the 2019 awards for financial assistance.
Oskar noted that NSFAF has employed a means-testing mechanism to select the 2 925 applicants who will qualify for funding by using certain selection criteria.
These criteria include the combined parental or own income, academic performance, priority fields of study and regional balance.
According to her, the fund is in the process of consolidating the final list of the 2 925 awardees, which will be made available on or before Friday this week through its website and at tertiary institutions.
She said the list is only for undergraduate studies and excludes vocational training centres and postgraduate studies.
Furthermore, Oskar maintained that the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation is in consultation with Treasury in an effort to secure additional funds to enable NSFAF to award the remaining 12,624 eligible new intakes.
“The fund regrets any inconveniences this has caused,” she said.
Last year, NSFAF only received N$670 million in total from Treasury, out of the allocated N$1.45 billion.
Out of the 28 591 invoices that were expected last year, the fund had received 18,983 invoices from institutions of higher learning, out of which 11,909 were settled by the fund.
These arrangements were made after the Namibian National Students Organisation (Nanso)’s Khomas leadership expressed unhappiness over non-payments by NSFAF to settle students’ outstanding accounts as per the agreement signed between them at the time.
The mandate of NSFAF, in terms of Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund, 2000 (Act 26 of 2000), is to provide financial assistance in the form of loan or grant to eligible students at approved institutions of higher learning and to recover money from beneficiaries upon completion of their studies.
2019-05-22 08:38:54 3 months ago