Approximately 100 students conducted a demonstration at the University of Johannesburg’s Auckland Park Kingsway Campus on Monday, 27 January. At the heart of the protest was the national concern regarding the shortfall of NSFAS (National Student Financial Scheme) funding to Higher Education Institutions such as UJ.
Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Internationalisation, Student Affairs and Institutional Advancement says: “Universities administer funds according to NSFAS guidelines on behalf of NSFAS. Unfortunately, it goes without saying that universities can only allocate funds which they received from NSFAS. In this case, UJ did not receive sufficient funds to assist all students who qualify for NSFAS funding. We understand the students’ concern and recognise their problem.”
In order to be able to accommodate the 7800 qualifying students on the NSFAS loan currently at UJ, the University had to add R 30 million from its own coffers. Unfortunately, for 2 170 qualifying students (who would need R 113 million) NSFAS has not provided funding.
The University is currently in discussion with the NSFAS Office and the Department of Higher Education (DHE). To this end, the Management of UJ will continue to seek an urgent and lasting solution to the problem together with students, the DHE and NSFAS.