Student formations at the University of the Free State have criticised Higher Education’s recent announcement that nearly one billion rand will be allocated to the NSFAS.
It’s aimed at settling the historic debt of students who are still studying.
Both the SRC and Free Education Movement at the institution say it won’t benefit the majority of students.
The issue of university fees has become a nightmare especially for students. In 2015 they protested fee hikes and financial exclusion at institutions of higher learning.
Fast forward to 2019, R1 billion has been allocated to NSFAS towards settling the historic debts of about 52 000 students.
Student movements are concerned. University of the Free State SRC president Sonwabile Dwaba says it is not enough.
“We have lots of students that have outstanding fees that were registered in 2018/19. We welcome the announcement by the minister but that is not enough.”
Asive Dlanjwa of the Free Education Movement at UFS says more money is needed. “That 52 000 students which a billion has been allocated unfortunately it only students who were funded by NSFAS. Student fees is 80 000 but NSAFS will pay only 67 000.”
Several students at the Free State University were at risk of being academically excluded because of unsettled debts.
Those who owed more than R14000 had to make payment arrangements with the institution. They welcome the announcement.
“It’s a good thing that she is trying, because we are struggling. It will help because our parents cannot afford.” Another student adds “We appreciate NSFAS that they will help pay outstanding fees.”