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NSFAS Working To Resolve Impact Of Accommodation Cap

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NSFAS Working To Resolve Impact Of Accommodation Cap

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme has introduced an accommodation cap that has negatively impacted several universities. In an effort to assist affected institutions, the scheme says it will find solutions.

NSFAS Working To Resolve Impact Of Accommodation Cap

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will assist universities that have been adversely affected by the accommodation cap. An update on the financial aid scheme was released to the parliamentary committee recently.

To manage unregulated costs of student accommodation, NSFAS introduced an accommodation cap of R45,000 per year in 2023. Private accommodation providers will also be prevented from profiteering and colluding on prices.

  • For far too long, students, parents and the government have been subjected to exploitation by service providers providing student accommodation to students. Service providers charged students exorbitant amounts for small rooms. The cap allows the government to stretch its limited resources to support more students who do not have access to funding for student accommodation. 

Stakeholders in the sector have not been pleased with the introduction of the accommodation cap. Many students feel the amount of money they are allocated is inadequate and could leave them without a place to live.

The introduction of the cap did not only concern students. Eleven of South Africa’s 26 universities expressed concern about the cap. Of the 11 universities that were negatively affected, five were more severely affected than the others.

As a result of the cap, NSFAS began engaging with affected institutions to find solutions for students that could not be placed.

  • NSFAS has tried to speed up the accreditation process to ensure beds are available for students without accommodation.

The financial aid scheme defended the cap’s introduction and amount. According to them, the R45,000 cap was not generated by thumb-sucking, but rather by an evidence-based process.

While the policy instruments are being refined, universities that have indicated they would be negatively affected by the cap must be assisted in the short term.

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