Skills Development & Education & Training Providers


NSFAS loan and bursary scheme… fair to all students?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Skills Universe 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #37355

     

    I have written to NSFAS asking if students, studying at private institutions, can access NSFAS loans and bursaries and I received the following answer:

       “Unfortunately, in terms of our mandate from Government, The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is not permitted to provide financial aid for students studying at private institutions.  It would appear that your institution is of a private nature, and as such we will not be able to assist.

    Commercial banks and Eduloan may be able to assist your students.”

     I am really dismayed that so many young people who want to study through private institutions,  which are accessible to them, cannot benefit from the NSFAS loan or bursary scheme.  I am talking about students studying at private institutions for full qualifications and I talking about private institutions that are accredited by Umalusi, SETAs, CHE and, in future, by QCTO. Surely, sufficient policy and procedures can be put into place to allow the administration thereof? 

     The Government is interested to see more young people sufficiently trained to be able to obtain a decent job.  In my experience of public and private institutions the throughput rate of the private institutions is higher.  Perhaps it is time to reconsider?

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  • #37370

    Dear Susan

    Trevor Manuel has suggested this in his Vision 2030 document – so maybe the tide is turning.

    Regards

    Jacqui

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  • #37369

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    I agree with you, Susan. However, convincing the Minister that students studying at private learning institutions should also have access to NSFAS loan and bursary schemes will be quite some challenge! The Minister is under the impression that private providers aer only there to make a profit and not to provide a professional service, so first we will need to convince him that we can and do offer better ETD than most public institutions. This will not be easy. Hannes Nel

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  • #37368

    Isobel Rose
    Participant

    Thank you for this article, I have been searching for funding to assist learners who would like to enrol to complete a full qualification and other FAIS fit & proper requirement and received the same reply from the NSFAS. Once these learners have been deemed competent and meet the FAIS fit & proper requirements they will be employable. 

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  • #37367

    Thanks, Jacqui, I will get hold of the document

    Regards
    Susan

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  • #37366

    Hi Susan – it was a bit of a one-liner! But I see that the final report was presented in Parliament today. http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=319150&sn=Detail&pid=71616. Not sure when it will be available to the public for download.

    Regards

    Jacqui

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  • #37365

    The docs are available from

    http://www.npconline.co.za/pebble.asp?relid=757

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  • #37364

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi to all – If you go to our Blogs section, I have loaded the media release and at the bottom of the media release you will find the link to the document on the NPC site – all 444 pages of it. Click below or just go to Blogs

    http://www.skills-universe.com/profiles/blogs/minister-manuel-s-address-at-launch-of-the-first-national-develop

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  • #37363

    The final Vision 2030 report released today contains the following proposal: 

    “Consider extending the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to qualifying students in registered private colleges as an incentive for private sector expansion.”

    Pipe dream? or potential reality?

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  • #37362

    One should think that the skills shortage and the needs of students will get first priority before the apparent government prejudice against private providers. The fact is that private providers that are registered and accredited are as legitimate as public providers.

    Besides, the private providers also contribute to the fiscus from which the NSFAS money comes. The students in these institutions probably had no choice as to the institutions they register with. The loans are not for the providers but for their students, who should not be discriminated against in this manner.

    Perhaps we need the students themselves to start lobbying for this.

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  • #37361

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Following this discussion, I have two different thoughts of an appropriate response.  Minister Manuel did very correctly say that it’s “not so much how much money you throw at the problem” it’s much more about how you transform the system. 

    So on the one hand although I accept Marietta’s response as a reasonable path – especially since it is consistent with the concept of a “developmental state’.  However, on the other hand there are so many arguments about government interfering too much, it also occurs to me that there must be ways of privatising the funding of private education as well.

    Already in additional to traditional loans, there are bursaries left as legacies, by companies seeking future employees, and by companies for existing employees’ children.

    Instead of spending time and money opposing the decision, wouldn’t a more constructive response – with a greater likelihood of success – be to co-ordinate information about existing resources, identify existing funding gaps and work to fill them.  Start by each training provider offering to fund one – or more – students.  Then approach companies to increase or institute bursary schemes.   

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  • #37360

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi

    I agree with Sylvia. I have worked at Private FET, Goverment funded FET and Privately funded FET institutions and many students at Private institutions are already supported by private funding. It is out there if you can unlock it. For example funds sitting with some of the SETA’s which don’t seem to have a home to go to could be actively used to support learners towards achieving qualifications specifically in the area of scarce skills.

    One of my concerns is getting students to understand the benefit they are receiving and the  concept of working towards their qualification and not wasting the funds spent on them. that is however another issue altogether

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  • #43192

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi

    I agree with Sylvia. I have worked at Private FET, Goverment funded FET and Privately funded FET institutions and many students at Private institutions are already supported by private funding. It is out there if you can unlock it. For example funds sitting with some of the SETA’s which don’t seem to have a home to go to could be actively used to support learners towards achieving qualifications specifically in the area of scarce skills.

    One of my concerns is getting students to understand the benefit they are receiving and the  concept of working towards their qualification and not wasting the funds spent on them. that is however another issue altogether

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  • #44233

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi

    I agree with Sylvia. I have worked at Private FET, Goverment funded FET and Privately funded FET institutions and many students at Private institutions are already supported by private funding. It is out there if you can unlock it. For example funds sitting with some of the SETA’s which don’t seem to have a home to go to could be actively used to support learners towards achieving qualifications specifically in the area of scarce skills.

    One of my concerns is getting students to understand the benefit they are receiving and the  concept of working towards their qualification and not wasting the funds spent on them. that is however another issue altogether

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  • #37359

    To my way of thinking, the fact that students that cannot access such funding are twice disadvantaged – once  because they probably have not been able to find a place at the public institution they applied to and twice because they now cannot afford to attend a private tp where they are responsible for their own funding. Students wanting to study at tps that have proven themselves over the years should be given access to government funding. The return on the investment far outweighs the amount of money – better educated people, more able to work effectively, earn salaries, pay taxes, don’t depend on govt handouts, etc, etc. 

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  • #37358

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Annie for your support. I will also refer this discussion to Kat who is our journalist working on thecareersportal.co.za,  which does identify bursaries as well as learnerships and so on.  Maybe what I could do is request information on bursaries and other funding to be directed to her. 

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  • #37357

    Cindy Payle
    Keymaster

    Great topic Susan 🙂

     Sylvia, i think you make an excellent point. We need to encourage young people to look at other avenues and opportunities for career development instead of drawing their attention to what we believe they ‘should have.’ There are many good arguments about why students who wish to study at private institutions ‘deserve’ financial support. But is that way of thinking fruitful and will it really benefit the student? as Hannes points out convincing government of this will be incredibly challenging , not to mention time-consuming.

    This discussion brings to mind a comment made by Ferial Haffejee which I believe is applicable here:

    “The challenge is not to threaten and insult or cajole for a larger slice of an old pie. I’d rather live in a country where our common challenge is to grow the pie to employ the three million young people who would like to work.” 

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  • #37356

    Thank you all for your contribution to this discussion.  I realised again the value of putting out a point of view and then receiving different, and all very valuable, perspectives.  Thank you also for the link to the Trevor Manual document.  I will also try to find the link to the bursaries and loans on the careersportal for students asking us for bursaries

     

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