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More Than 3000 Properties Accredited For NSFAS Student Accommodation

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More Than 3000 Properties Accredited For NSFAS Student Accommodation

More Than 3000 Properties Accredited For NSFAS Student Accommodation. For students pursuing tertiary education, finding suitable accommodation is paramount to their academic success. Recognizing this need, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) offers financial support for accommodation to eligible students.

NSFAS Student Accommodation Pilot Programme

NSFAS initiated the Student Accommodation Pilot Programme to ensure that accommodation provided to NSFAS-funded students meets essential criteria: accessibility, decency, safety, and academic conducive environments.

Ministerial Updates on Accommodation Programme

Recently, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande addressed parliamentary inquiries, shedding light on the progress, challenges, and strategies employed in the accommodation pilot programme.

Expansion and Accreditation

In the 2024 academic year, 17 universities and 23 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges have enrolled in the pilot programme. A significant milestone is the accreditation of 3309 accommodation properties through the NSFAS portal.

Payment Structures and Agreements

Minister Nzimande emphasized the variability in rental costs, which depend on the quality and amenities provided by each accommodation provider. Approved landlords enter into three-year contracts with NSFAS, and payments have commenced, albeit with potential delays.

Quality Assurance

While institutions themselves aren’t graded, individual accommodation sites undergo rigorous inspections to ensure compliance with safety and quality standards outlined in the Minimum Norms and Standards on Student Housing.

Institutional Engagement

Although institutions are not accredited by NSFAS as part of the pilot, efforts are underway for their integration into the accreditation process. To date, 2145 TVET-linked and 3901 university-linked institutions have commenced registration on the NSFAS portal.

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Sol Plaatje University Progress

Minister Nzimande addressed concerns about Sol Plaatje University compliance with programme requirements, noting that the university claims a 95% implementation rate. NSFAS continues to monitor the situation closely.

Challenges at Vaal University of Technology

Issues regarding accommodation challenges at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in 2023 surfaced due to partnerships with landlords not approved by NSFAS. Although NSFAS intervened in 2024 to address payment issues, delays persist.

Ongoing Efforts

Efforts are underway to resolve outstanding payment issues for students residing in accredited accommodation at VUT. NSFAS awaits the institution’s provision of a verified student list for prompt resolution.

Conclusion

NSFAS commitment to ensuring adequate student accommodation underscores its dedication to fostering an enabling environment for students’ academic pursuits. Despite challenges, ongoing collaboration between NSFAS and educational institutions aims to enhance the accommodation experience for students across South Africa.

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