NSFAF to fund over 22 000 students

Junior Kapofi
The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) officially released its 2023 awards list at its headquarters in Windhoek this week.

The application process for funding has been open from December to 10 February. This means the application process was open for two-and-a-half months, giving each individual ample time to apply for funding, acting CEO Kennedy Kandume said.

This year, the institution received 30 124 applications from prospective beneficiaries. This is an increase from the 22 696 applications received last year. Of this amount, 74% (22 178) are eligible for funding, which is a 30% increase from the 17 096 of the previous year.

However, this leaves the remaining 26% (7 946) ineligible for funding from NSFAF in the 2023 academic year.

Budget allocation

Through the ministry of higher education, technology and innovation, the institution was allocated N$1.68 billion to cater for the continuing and new intake of students.

However, Kandume said these funds will not be enough to cater to all students.

“This prompted an engagement with the line ministry and ministry of finance and both ministries committed to avail additional funds to enable the funding of all eligible applicants."

Signing of contracts

Kandume added that the application process is not complete until the beneficiaries sign the contract as this is the final stage of the process.

Eligible applicants will have 60 days to sign their contract. These 60 days start on 18 April, and will end on 16 June. “Failure to submit will result in them forfeiting the financial assistance,” he said.

NSFAF has seen a great number of students not returning their signed contracts. In 2023 alone, about 142 beneficiaries did not return their contracts. This is mainly due to obtaining scholarships or bursaries before signing the contract or dropping out of university, Kandume said.

Monthly payments

Moreover, the fund will continue payments to students on a monthly basis. This means students will receive tuition monthly and not on a quarterly basis or two times a year, the acting CEO said.

This is something that was recently introduced, he said, adding that the fund envisaged starting with monthly payments by the end of April.