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New NSFAS Funding Model Proposal Anticipated by 2024 – Statement by Mashatile

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New NSFAS Funding Model Proposal Anticipated by 2024 - Statement by Mashatile

New NSFAS Funding Model Proposal Anticipated by 2024. Deputy President Paul Mashatile has expressed his anticipation of a proposal for a revamped funding model for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to be presented before the Cabinet by the close of 2023.

Recent Challenges in NSFAS Operational

The tertiary education funding scheme has recently encountered significant challenges, including the dismissal of its CEO due to irregular procurement practices. Simultaneously, students have faced difficulties in receiving their allowances, attributed to issues with the implementation of the new direct payment system.

Addressing Funding Scheme Issues

Responding to queries in the National Assembly, Mashatile underscored the government’s commitment to rectifying the situation. He emphasized the need for a funding model that not only addresses current issues but also accommodates the “missing middle.” This group is envisioned to have access to loans for financing their studies.

Objectives of the Proposed Funding Model

The proposed funding model aims to ensure, by the academic year 2024, the retention of existing funding for economically disadvantaged students with household incomes ranging from R0 to R350,000 per annum. Additionally, the model seeks to establish a funding strategy for the “missing middle,” involving collaboration with the financial sector to offer loans within that income bracket.

Ongoing Investigation into Direct Payment Issues

Mashatile acknowledged the ongoing investigation into challenges associated with direct payments, including scrutiny of the appointed service providers. Despite these hurdles, he confirmed that Cabinet has reviewed an initial version of the new funding model for the R50 billion NSFAS scheme.

Minister Efforts to Address Student Needs

The Minister of Higher Education has actively engaged with Cabinet, presenting the proposed model and working diligently with his team to meet the demands and concerns of students. Mashatile assured that the government is committed to resolving the issues within NSFAS and ensuring a smoother operation in the future.

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