WINDHOEK - Following the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso)’s high level engagement with higher education stakeholders recently, the Ministry of Finance has availed N$360 million to the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) in order to settle and pay out all 2018 outstanding tuition and non-tuition fees, for students at all tertiary institutions.
The meeting discussed issues and concerns around the 2019 registration process, NSFAF funding, students’ accommodation and student
This was revealed by Nanso president Ester Simon on Saturday when she informed all students who did not receive their full 2018 tuition or non-tuition payouts for the 2018 academic year that an understanding was reached to settle them.
“We are therefore expecting that all students’ accounts will be rescued and that no students will owe any university from the 2018 academic year. Please do note that this transfer from Treasury was the final payout for the 2018 academic year,” she advised students.
Following further engagement on NSFAF accessibility, the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Itah Kandji-Murangi, issued a directive that all public tertiary education institutions must have a permanent NSFAF office on their premises.
This means all campuses will soon house a NSFAF office for accessibility and enquiries, and to deal with any other matter or concern related to student funding.
She said given the fact that students’ accommodation is largely unaffordable and unavailable, the majority of students live off campus in risky and unconducive study environments.
She revealed that Nanso is glad to note that the City of Windhoek has allocated and availed land to the higher education ministry in order to lead with the establishment of more student hostels and student villages.
“We are awaiting and will be following this development closely and call on this activity to be considered and dealt with urgently, as accommodation is a crisis and a challenge in Namibia for all students,” Simon noted.
She added that students have been victims of crime on and off campuses and students’ safety has been a serious concern.
As a result, she said, students no longer trust the universities’ security systems, because students are no longer free but constantly live in fear.
Therefore, she said, following the engagement on student safety, all higher education stakeholders have progressively agreed to prioritise students’ safety.
Following Nanso’s call to have public universities abolish registration fees in order to ensure that all deserving and qualified students will be able to access tertiary education, Simon said all parties have reached a compromise.
She explained the registration process and fees structure at both Unam and Nust will remain as is, however students that are unable to pay or settle the required amounts must forward their details for Nanso leadership to register the concerns.
As for Nust, students must also register their concerns with the department or dean of students’ services.
Alternatively students and or prospective students must consult their respective institutions. For Unam there are three basic mechanisms in place.
These are to register their concerns with the office of the dean of students in order to be assisted or strike a deal or commitment, or parents or guardians or organisations can enter into a contractual agreement with the university.
Another one is that employed students can also enter into a contractual agreement or commitment with the university, provided that the students present proof of employment.
Nanso will in the coming weeks engage private institutions such as the International University of Management (IUM), Triumphant College, Namibia Institute of Technology, Welwitschia College and other recognised institutions for similar arrangements.
2019-02-04 10:01:52 2 months ago