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Unisa Students Experiencing Delays in Receiving Their NSFAS Allowances

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Unisa Students Experiencing Delays in Receiving Their NSFAS Allowances

Introduction

The implementation of the new allowance disbursement system by NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) seems to be facing significant challenges, with Unisa students being among those who have raised complaints about the payment system.

New Funding Model

For the 2023 academic year, NSFAS introduced a new funding model aimed at providing benefiting students with direct allowances from the scheme. This payment system was launched in collaboration with third-party financial service providers, including 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) has highlighted notable flaws in the direct payment system implemented by NSFAS. Students at the university have reported various issues, such as not receiving their funds on time or experiencing funds disappearing from their NSFAS bank accounts. These problems have led to protests by some university students, and there are indications that student organizations may mobilize protests at other universities across the country. Coinvest, the service provider responsible for NSFAS-funded students at Unisa, is being explored for possible interventions.

Engagements and Solutions

Unisa has acknowledged recent engagements between NSFAS, Unisa, and various university stakeholders to address the issue. They have expressed their commitment to working with NSFAS and the assigned service provider (Coinvest) to find a workable solution that ensures students are not unfairly disadvantaged. The Student Funding Directorate, Coinvest, and student leadership at Unisa are actively collaborating with NSFAS in this process.

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NSFAS Response

NSFAS has released a statement in response to the complaints, assuring all affected stakeholders that a thorough investigation will be launched. They have also instructed service providers to be more present in institutions to assist students with their queries. NSFAS aims to provide more clarity on how students can access their allowances and resolve any delays. Further engagements between university stakeholders, NSFAS leadership, and service providers are scheduled for July 14, 2023.

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Call for Prompt Data Submission

Considering that 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 in ensuring the smooth disbursement of funds.

Conclusion

The implementation of the new NSFAS allowance disbursement system at Unisa has faced challenges, leading to student complaints and protests. Unisa and NSFAS are actively working together, along with the assigned service provider, to find a solution that addresses the concerns raised by students.

NSFAS has assured stakeholders of a thorough investigation and plans to enhance clarity and assistance for students. The timely submission of registration data by tertiary institutions is crucial for the successful payment process

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