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Delays in NSFAS Allowances for Unisa Students

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Delays in NSFAS Allowances for Unisa Students

Introduction

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has recently made the decision to defund students who were allocated financial aid based on incorrect information. This decision has caused concerns and protests among students due to issues with the new funding model introduced by NSFAS for the 2023 academic year.

New Funding Model and Collaboration

NSFAS implemented a new funding model to provide students with allowances directly from the scheme. This model involved collaborating with third-party financial service providers such as Norraco, eZaga, Tenet Technologies, and Coinvest. The objective was to enhance transparency and accountability in the disbursement of monthly allowances to students.

Flaws in the Direct Payment System

The University of Africa (Unisa) reported significant flaws in the direct payment system. Students at Unisa raised complaints about not receiving their funds on time or experiencing funds disappearing from their NSFAS bank accounts. These issues have sparked protests among university students, expressing their discontent with the payment system.

Protest Actions and Mobilization

Protest actions have been witnessed at several universities as a result of the dissatisfaction among students. Additionally, student organizations have expressed their intention to mobilize students from other universities across the country to join in the protests. Coinvest, the service provider responsible for NSFAS-funded students at Unisa, is currently exploring ways to address the concerns raised.

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Engagements and Collaborative Efforts

Unisa acknowledged the recent engagements between NSFAS, university stakeholders, and student leadership to address the issue. They are actively working with NSFAS and Coinvest to find a solution that ensures students are not unfairly disadvantaged. The aim is to collaborate and identify a workable resolution.

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NSFAS Assurance and Action

NSFAS released a statement assuring all affected stakeholders that they will launch a probe into the complaints. They will also instruct service providers to be more present in institutions to assist students with their queries. NSFAS aims to provide more clarity to students on accessing their allowances and resolving any delays. Further engagements are scheduled between university stakeholders, NSFAS leadership, and service providers on July 14, 2023.

Prompt Data Submission and Payment Schedule

As the payment of NSFAS is scheduled for July 31, 2023, NSFAS has called on tertiary institutions to promptly submit the remaining 25% of the required registration data. This step is crucial to ensure a smooth payment process and address the issues faced by students.

Conclusion

The implementation of the new allowance disbursement system by NSFAS has encountered challenges, leading to protests and complaints from students. NSFAS, along with university stakeholders and service providers, is actively working towards finding a resolution to address the concerns and ensure that students are not unfairly disadvantaged.

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