Connect with us

News

NSFAS OUTA | Predicts Thousands of Students Will Be Without Accommodation in 2024

Published

on

NSFAS OUTA | Predicts Thousands of Students Will Be Without Accommodation in 2024

NSFAS OUTA | Predicts Thousands of Students Will Be Without Accommodation in 2024. Due to ongoing accommodation processes, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is set to fund approximately one million students in 2024, raising concerns about accommodation shortages.

Insufficient Accredited Beds Raise Alarm Bells

The NSFAS requires 397,000 beds for the 2024 academic year, yet only 6.5% of these beds have been accredited by October 4, 2023, indicating a potential crisis as the 2024 academic year approaches.

Investigation Unveils Disturbing Findings

According to the findings of OUTA’s in-depth investigation into NSFAS student accommodation tenders, there will be a shortage of beds in 2024 in order to meet the anticipated demand.

NSFAS Crucial Role in Student Support

NSFAS plays a pivotal role in supporting over a million students in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges and Universities. The comprehensive bursaries provided encompass tuition fees, registration fees, meals, stationery, and accommodation.

Quality Living Spaces for Effective Learning

Students’ learning experiences are enhanced by conducive living environments. Thus, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has developed the Policy on the Minimum Norms and Standards for Student Housing at Public Universities.

Advertisement

Student Accommodation NSFAS Portal and Accreditation Process

As part of NSFAS, an online portal allows providers to register their properties for consideration. Accreditation involves a thorough process where a panel of experts assesses and grades properties to ensure they are suitable for students.

See also  What Does Awaiting Evaluation Mean In NSFAS

NSFAS Critical Shortfall in Accredited Beds Raises Concerns

Rudie Heyneke, Investigations Manager of OUTA, expresses concern that a substantial number of students may not have housing by the start of the 2024 academic year. Having 497,000 beds required but only 25,800 accredited by October 2023 raises significant concerns about meeting targets and potential emergencies.

NSFAS Call for Urgent Stakeholder Meeting and Accountability

Before the academic year begins, OUTA urges higher education stakeholders to meet promptly to address potential issues. Moreover, developers are seen as being economically unviable due to the imposed accommodation cap of R45,000, which exacerbates the situation. They urge NSFAS to recognize accreditation checks conducted by universities.

OUTA Plan for Action

In addition to the Department of Higher Education, the Higher Education Portfolio Committee, and relevant stakeholders will receive OUTA report. For further investigation into NSFAS tenders, they will share their findings with the Special Investigative Unit and the Auditor-General, highlighting concerns about mismanagement and calling for accountability.

Conclusion

The impending accommodation crisis for NSFAS-funded students demands urgent attention. OUTA’s findings underscore the need for swift action, accountability, and collaboration among stakeholders to ensure a smooth start to the 2024 academic year.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending