The 2016/17 financial year, marks the 25th year since NSFAS’ inception.
From humble beginnings in 1991 to 2016, student funding that is being managed by the entity has grown significantly and that has ensured that many deserving students are funded.
The Organisation this year recorded an outstanding achievement in debt recoveries. Collections increased by 73% to R392.4 million from R226.7 million in the prior year and has exceeded the performance target of R285 million by 38%. This demonstrates management’s commitment to increase the pool of funding available for student funding. The funds recovered are particularly important for student
funding, as every last quarter of the financial year (first quarter of the academic year), NSFAS utilises the recoveries to fund upfront payments to universities and TVET Colleges. Upfront payments enable institutions to waive registration fees for NSFAS funded students.
The organisation anticipates receiving a huge volume of applications for funding via its online platform from potential students for the 2018 academic year.
A lot of effort has gone into addressing issues that were experienced by applicants
in submitting applications for the 2017 academic year. Attention has also been given to reviewing the adequacy of ICT systems, performance and capacity, building organisational capacity and improving the student experience through a streamlined and user-friendly application form. The objective is to turn NSFAS into an organisation that places the needs of the students and various stakeholders at the heart of its operations.
The higher education sector is currently going through a transformation journey, and that is experienced through the demand for free education by students and the work currently being undertaken by the Presidential Fees Commission. The outcome of this work will potentially have a significant impact on the work done by the entity.