OPINION

Key issues new NSFAS administrator needs to address - Belinda Bozzoli

DA MP says clarity needs to be provided to prospective students for 2019

Key issues new NSFAS administrator, Dr Carolissen, needs to address

The Democratic Alliance notes and welcomes the appointment of Dr Randall Carolissen as the administrator for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

While Dr Carolissen comes with a wealth of experience and expertise, he faces an incredible task ahead of him. The key aspects he needs to focus on include:

Immediately addressing the management crisis which is currently plaguing NSFAS;

Increasing the qualified staff complement, so they are better able to cope with the increased number of applications forced on the scheme by former President Jacob Zuma’s ill-timed free education announcement;

Provide clarity to prospective students for 2019 given the high level of uncertainty regarding applications for next year which have been put on hold until September by the Minister of Higher Education and Training; and 

The scheme’s IT system and communications need to be greatly improved to avoid the uncertainty which has prevailed for the longest time at NSFAS.

Access to higher education is of utmost importance as skills training is essential to accessing lasting employment and bringing down the unacceptably high levels of unemployment in South Africa.

The youth needs to be able to meaningfully contribute to the country’s economy and without access to funding through NSFAS, many young people will be denied this opportunity.

The DA will monitor Dr Carolissen’s performance at NSFAS and hold him to account for the future of our youth.

The DA remains hopeful that perhaps now we will have some accountability at the scheme.

Statement issued by Belinda Bozzoli MP, DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education & Training, 17 August 2018