The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) says unhappy, rejected students who applied for state funding for the 2021 academic year have been given the full picture for their application rejection.
This comes after Nanso compiled a list of some 600 students whose applications were rejected and those whose tuition or non-tuition fees were delayed.
NSFAF received 22 867 applications, of which 16 185 were awarded, while 6 682 were rejected due to various reasons (including insufficient points in grade 12 and parental/guardian income above the threshold, among others).
The students complained NSFAF did not clarify the reasons given for their study loan applications being rejected.
After the meeting, held on 28 June 2021 as per the high-level meeting convened by the higher education ministry, which was attended by both Nanso and NSFAF, the student organisation then compiled the list and sent it to the Fund.
On Monday, Nanso president Simon Taapopi wrote to NSFAF acting CEO Kennedy Kandume requesting feedback on the compiled lists the student organisation furnished the Fund with early July.
“Allow us to primarily to bring to your recollection the commitment you made to re-evaluate the applications for funding that were rejected for inexplicit reasons, provided that Nanso compiled a list of such applicants and submitted them to you,” Taapopi wrote.
Nanso spokesperson Esther Shakela explained not all the rejected many students fall under the “doubtful reasons” category because there are those who were rejected on merit such as not meeting the requirements.
Shakela went on to say, “doubtful reasons include no reason hence the ‘inexplicit reasons’ mentioned in the letter.
NSFAF did not clarify the reasons for rejection.
The list was primarily compiled for insight.
“We had received complaints from students but we wanted that information documented so that it would be easier to present it at any point. We put out a call on 23 July. We compiled the list early July and got about 600 responses from students.”
In response, Kandume said what Nanso should understand is that there are set of criteria to be met; those who do not meet the criteria are rejected.
He mentioned such criteria include academic performance (points obtained in grade 12), social consideration, parental or guardian income and field of study.
“It is not only academic performance that is considered. We have provided reason for rejections, contrary to Nanso’s claims. The list sent by Nanso has reasons for rejections, which range from parental income above the threshold to the applicant having outstanding documents. By the way, we still give those with outstanding documents a chance to submit before they are rejected,” Kandume defended.
Kandume said the awarded represent 71% of the total applications, which is highest number ever.
As customary, every year, government, through NSFAF, invites potential students to apply for financial assistance to pursue tertiary education.
The 2021 application for financial assistance opened on 18 January 2021 and closed on 16 March 2021 via NSFAF online application platform.
Higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi earlier this month announced the validation process is completed and the government, through NSFAF, shall award 16 185 applicants who have met the criteria of income mean-testing (parental, guardian or own income), academic performance and priority fields of study.