More than 500 Walter Sisulu University (WSU) students that graduated between 2016 and 2019 are yet to receive their certificates, due to non-payment. The students were funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
They blame incompetence by the university, which submitted their documents to NSFAS in that period.
These include failure to submit accommodation and tuition funding documents, as well as incapacity to claim from NSFAS.
Students, Nedia Mathinjwa and Sazi Mbhiyozo say this has resulted in their academic qualifications being withheld.
“I am struggling to get a job because I did not get my certificate for the 2019 May graduation. Now I cannot register under SAICA because they want the certificate and at home they do not have money to pay.”
“We studied through the National Financial Aid Scheme, which is NSFAS and our parents at home do not have the means to pay the money we owed the institution. Our parents only rely on social grant.”
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande has called on students with such problems to come forward.
“Bring those 25 names here, do not talk about them in the air that there are 25 students who have got problems we cannot access. We have said as the government, any problem that anybody has to bring that to our attention and NSFAS. I am challenging you now in the air, bring those 25 names I will be able to give you an answer within the next 48 hours because what we do not want is for people to go and shout about problems and they do not come and give us the exact nature of their problems,” says Nzimande.
In this video, Walter Sisulu University students protest due to outstanding NSFAS funding: