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NSFAF wants additional N$400 million  

2023-04-19  Loide Jason

NSFAF wants additional N$400 million  

The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund is eyeing a N$400 million increased budget, to N$2 billion, to cater for the expected increased number of applicants
 during the 2023 academic year.

The student funding institution’s acting CEO Kennedy Kandume told the media yesterday that the increased budget is needed as the number of applicants has increased by 30% to over 30 000.

He said for the 2023 academic year, 30 124 applications for funding were received, of which 22 178 are eligible for funding.

“This is an increase of 30% when compared to 17 096 eligible applicants during the 2022 academic year. This leaves 7 946, or 26%, of applicants ineligible for funding during the 2023 academic year,” he said.

Moreover, Kandume indicated that out of the 22 178 funded applicants, 16 000 applicants’ parents have no income.

Furthermore, 21 014 applications were received for undergraduate (degrees and diplomas), while 7 233 applied for funding at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)  level and 1 877 applied for postgraduate qualifications.

Female applicants dominated with 16 951 compared to 13 173 male applicants. 

Kandume said the reason why the fund is requesting money is that the demand for financial assistance always outweighs the supply, as resources are not always enough. 

“Thus, we resort to measures like means- testing to ensure that needy students also get access to higher education,” he said.

He added that although the government allocated N$1.68 billion to cater for continuing as well as new applicants, the allocation is not enough, which prompted an engagement with line ministries that committed to make additional funds available.

The fund has also announced it will commence with a monthly payment for non-tuition fees this

“This means that students will be receiving their non-tuition fees every month instead of quarterly or sometimes two payments a year. In this regard, the fund envisaged to start with a monthly payment to continuing students at the end of this month, provided that their respective institutions have submitted their invoices,”  Kandume said. 

The monthly payment will continue until such a time that the allocated N$17 000 non-tuition fee is exhausted. Additionally, monthly payments for new intakes will commence as soon as the contracting process is concluded. 

Kandume also encouraged students to sign and submit their contracts as only those with signed contracts will be paid.

“It must be noted that the application process is not complete until beneficiaries sign contracts with NSFAF.  In terms of the fund’s regulation, an applicant who has been offered financial assistance and who fails to agree within 60 days from the date of the notice forfeits the financial assistance,” he said.

2023-04-19  Loide Jason

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