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Govt working with universities to resolve NSFAS challenges - Pandor

Several South African campuses were shut down this month as part of a protest led by the South African Union of Students.

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor updates media on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme applications for 2019. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

PRETORIA - Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor says her department will not allow any student to be barred from completing their studies because of historical debt.

Several South African campuses were shut down this month as part of a protest led by the South African Union of Students.

Student leaders are demanding the scrapping of historical debt and a resolution to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) discrepancies.

Pandor says NSFAS qualifying students in good academic standing who are in debt must sign an acknowledgement of debt form, and they’ll be allowed to register for this academic year.

“I’m working closely with NSFAS and institutions to ensure that these measures are put in place in all our universities, and I’m assured thus far, that indeed they are.”

The minister says government will find a way in collaboration with institutions to resolve the matter of debt urgently.

“We can’t lose when we have invested for so many years and a person is closed out. I think institutions should have been talking to us [about their challenges].”

Pandor says she will be making an announcement before the end of next month on how this will be put in place.

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