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03/02/2017

Student Representative Council (SRC) presidents from across the country met with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) this week on student funding matters. A number of resolutions were made in a bid to enable a greater number of students to register in time for the start of lectures.

The resolutions effectively enable hundreds more students at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) to go ahead with registration, provided that they meet the necessary academic requirements, are awaiting NSFAS funding confirmation and there is still place in their chosen programmes.

First year students who applied for NSFAS and are awaiting confirmation of funding

  • First year students who completed their studies in Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools (no-fee paying schools) and who are indicated as NSFAS “Awaiting availability of funds” can proceed with registration
  • Students who come from families that receive a South African Social Service Agency grant and who are indicated as NSFAS “Awaiting availability of funds” can proceed to registration.

Returning students

  • Returning students who received NSFAS funding in 2016 and signed the loan agreement form last year, who have passed 50% of their modules and meet the NSFAS completion requirement, can proceed with registration
  • The 2016 cohort of Zero expected family contribution (EFC) students who continue to be academically deserving can go ahead with registration

Missing middle

  • Students who fall within the University-defined missing middle (those whose household is not more than R300 000) and received exemption from the minimum down payment in 2016, who are able to cut down their current student debt to R5000 and below will be allowed to register without down payment
  • Those who cannot cut their debt to the above-mentioned amount can approach a Panel set up by the University to attend to financial aid related matters. Details on the process to be followed will be communicated with the relevant students.

Honours and BTech students

  • The Financial Aid Task Team is still deliberating on funding options for this cohort of students and will give the necessary feedback in due course.

The decision by NSFAS in consultation with students is aimed at ensuring that as many students as possible are registered in time for the start of lectures nationally. Lectures at NMMU start on Monday, 6 February.

In waiving the usual means test in order to speed up its processes, NSFAS also committed to work with universities to reconcile and confirm the validity of supporting these students.

The financial loan scheme for students whose families earn less than R244 000 annually will pay out R9.9 billion in 2017, of which R285m has been allocated for NMMU students.

If students falling within the above mentioned cohorts continue to experience blockages when trying to register, they should consult the Financial Aid official stationed at the registration venue.

In the event that the matter remains unresolved even after consulting the on-site official, students can approach the Dean of Students who will, if applicable, direct the matter to a Panel set up to attend to such matters. Details of the Panel will be shared after it has convened its first meeting.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777
Zandile.Mbabela@mandela.ac.za