SETAs to continue to help fund NSFAS
The Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has agreed to improve the administration of funds and tighten its policies‚ while the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) will continue to help fund the scheme.
That’s the upshot of a meeting held between the two bodies and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on Thursday on the administration of bursaries for 2016/17.
The meeting forms part of government’s resolve to channel various sources of funding through NSFAS to increase access to higher education and training‚ as announced by the Minister of Higher Education and Training‚ Dr Blaze Nzimande.
SETAs currently contributes a total of R365 million to NSFAS towards bursaries for poor students. NSFAS has to date assisted more than 1.5 million students to the tune of more than R50 billion.
NSFAS has also undertaken to review administrative guidelines and criteria and to improve support for financial aid offices (FAOs) of universities in identifying and conducting eligibility testing of bursary-qualifying students in line with the established eligibility criteria and the NSFAS Means Test.
The parties also agreed that the learner/student selection processes and enrolment for critical and scarce skills or academic and/or technical learning courses should also be in line with the Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa.
They concurred that there should be an alignment in reporting and collaboration with the Auditor-General “to ensure an effective and efficient way of reporting that is consistent”.
In return SETAs‚ because of its close proximity to employers‚ will assist NSFAS-funded students to access internships‚ work-placements and employment.