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Universities SA pleased with Pandor’s steps in resolving NSFAS problems

The student funding scheme is struggling to pay students who qualify for bursaries and has not dealt with payments dating back to last year.

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Universities South Africa says that it is pleased with the steps taken by Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor in an attempt to resolve the problems which National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has been battling with.

The student funding scheme is struggling to pay students who qualify for bursaries and has not dealt with payments dating back to last year.

Randall Carolissen was appointed as the new administrator last week, while uncertainty still surrounds CEO Steven Zwane’s future.

Universities South Africa CEO Ahmed Bawa says he is concerned that NSFAS will not be able to manage the influx of new applications

The Higher Education Department indicated last week that it aims to open applications in early September, despite the non-payment backlog.

Bawa says that the funding issues have to be dealt with if the organisation wants to move forward.

“We’re very worried about the fact that there hasn’t yet been close out on the 2017-2018 financial cycle. The evidence that we’ve from the universities is that there’s still millions of rands outstanding.”

Bawa says Carolissen’s appointment will help improve the service, given his understanding of how the universities work.

Meanwhile, Nehawu is expected to meet with the Higher Education Department on Tuesday to discuss the way forward.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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