Progress regarding NSFAS applications
1 February 2017
A meeting involving members of the EXCO of Universities South Africa (USAf), the chairperson of the NSFAS Board and representatives of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) was convened on Saturday, 28 January 2017 to discuss the backlogs that had developed in the processing of financial aid applications made by first-time entering students and returning students.
A serious concern was expressed about the fact that some academically deserving students who were awaiting news from NSFAS might lose their places in academic programmes and/or residences to fee-paying students.
NSFAS is reasonably confident that it will complete the allocation of financial aid packages to first-time entering students within six days, in other words by this coming Friday, 3 February 2017.
Returning students who have previously been assisted by NSFAS, and are meeting the funding conditions stipulated by NSFAS, can proceed with registration.
You are once again assured that the North-West University (NWU) is in constant dialogue with NSFAS and is committed to ensure that as many students as possible can be assisted to register. USAf is also addressing outstanding issues with NSFAS collectively on behalf of all universities in South Africa.
Even though it must be stressed that the NWU has to remain within the amount allocated to us by NSFAS, the university remains committed to assist as far as possible academically deserving students.
You will be kept informed of any new developments.
31 January 2017
Media freedom and the people’s right to freedom of speech are central pillars of our democracy. The online media channels, in particular, present us with opportunities to communicate and disseminate information to our stakeholders and the public. The media industry, across the world, is experiencing a proliferation of fake online websites and social media accounts whose objective is to spread misinformation and damage the reputation of organisations and/or persons. We continue to monitor the media landscape and coverage of the NWU across all media channels and believe that we are well positioned to detect any fake sites purporting to belong to or represent the NWU. We call upon staff and students to report any suspected fake news sites or accounts to Mr Louis Jacobs, Director: Corporate Communication at email@example.com or 018 299 4918.
The NWU has approved several social media accounts which serve as information and knowledge-sharing platforms among staff and students. Most interaction and views shared via the NWU online platforms are constructive and comply with the university’s rules and codes of conduct. However, there are still a few individuals, within and outside the university, who are continuously spreading misinformation about the NWU on social media. The university will institute legal action against these individuals to ensure that they do not succeed in tarnishing the NWU brand. We remain steadfast in ensuring that the NWU remains one of the higher education institutions whose students and graduates enjoy respect in South Africa and globally.
Although the NWU encourages robust debate and dialogue among students and staff regarding issues affecting the entire university community, the expression of views must not advocate or incite violence or cause harm to other members of the NWU community. Students and staff must desist from promoting and supporting views or statements aimed at creating hatred of other groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.
Apart from all other existing channels, staff and students are encouraged to make use of the official social media platforms for accurate information.
NSFAS 2017 application status
25 January 2017
The new academic year is off to a good start with enthusiastic students registering on all three of the NWU’s campuses. As on 25 January more than 6 000 first-years have already enrolled as part of the total of close to 12 000 NWU students that have already registered so far. The NWU’s target for first-year enrolments for 2017 is 8 894.
The NWU is in constant dialogue with NSFAS and is committed to ensure that as many students as possible can be assisted to register.
The new NSFAS centred model, in line with the Minister of Higher Education and Training’s commitment to financially assist more needy students, including the missing middle, became effective in January 2017. For 2017 NSFAS allocated R270 871 000, excluding assistance to final year students, to the NWU.
All applications were done online to NSFAS and NSFAS was responsible for selection and approval of new students.
According to the latest reports received on 12 Jan 2017 from NSFAS, 8 699 students who intend to study at the NWU, applied to them either electronically or submitted a hard copy application. This includes all potential new first-year students and senior students that did not receive NSFAS funding in 2016. Students that did receive NSFAS funding in 2016 are eligible for funding in 2017 if they met the academic criteria (pass 50% of their modules) and are within the N+2 study year rule.
A total of 5 209 NSFAS supported first-year students applied to study at the NWU, of those 3 044 were admitted, with more than 2 700 senior students who receive NSFAS support that applied.
Assisting as many as possible needy students is a priority. This has already been seen in 2016. Due to the introduction of the First Time Entrant (FTE)fund in 2016, an additional 1 794 new students were assisted in 2016. This caused more senior students to be in the system for 2017. In the past the NWU used a 70/30 split where 70% of funding was allocated to senior students and 30% to first year students. When NSFAS did their selection and approval for 2017, they used an 80/20 split. The large number of FTE students in the system forced the NWU to an 80/20 split, meaning NSFAS provided less funding for first-year students in 2017 to be assisted.
Included in the list of already approved students are 99 senior students that did not receive NSFAS funding in prior years. Of the 99 we have identified 34 students with outstanding debt and we have requested NSFAS to investigate alternative sources to assist those students. We are awaiting their final approval in this regard.
We have submitted the results of senior students to NSFAS and await the final list of the approved senior students.
There is also a channel for academically deserving students who did not receive NSFAS funding and are not able to pay the minimum required registration fees. Their cases are handled on merit by financial registration committees on each of the NWU’s three campuses. The committees aim to help students to register as long as they can make sufficient arrangements to pay the registration fees as soon as possible.
We thank all our students and staff for your patience and assistance in ensuring a successful registration process. We will keep you informed about any NSFAS developments.
For the latest update from NSFAS please click here
Missing middle fee adjustment grant
24 January 2017
The Department of Higher Education training fee adjustment grant - 2017
11 January 2017
Following our previous communique on the increase of tuition fees for 2017, this clarifies the application process for the missing middle fee adjustment grant.
Government will pay the fee increase capped at 8% for all qualifying registered students with a gross combined family income up to R600 000 per annum in 2017. This is a grant and will not have to be repaid by qualifying students. The grant will only cover tuition fees and accommodation provided by universities.
- Only South African citizens and citizens with permanent South African residence permits, studying towards an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in 2017.
- The applicant and direct family (mother, father, spouse or legal guardians) who have a GROSS combined family income of R600 000 or less per annum before tax deductions.
Who qualifies, but does not have to apply for the grant?
The following students will not have to apply for the grant, as they will automatically be considered:
- Applicants who applied for NSFAS funding.
- All students who attended Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools in Grade 12.
Who do not qualify and can't apply for the grant?
Students who are recipients of bursaries and scholarships that cover their tuition and accommodation fees can’t apply for the grant, as their bursaries or scholarships have to cover the full percentage fee adjustment.
All other students will have to apply for the fee adjustment grant.
How does one apply?
- All applications will have to be submitted on the relevant application form obtainable from the NWU website (click here) or at the financial support offices on the respective campuses. Applications have already opened, and the closing date is 28 February 2017 for the first semester and 30 August 2017 for students who have to register for the second semester.
- Applications can be electronically submitted to the following email addresses:
- Mafikeng Campus: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Potchefstroom Campus: email@example.com
- Vaal Triangle Campus: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The grant will reflect on the student account once the student has been verified as a qualifying grant recipient. The outcome of the application will be known within the first quarter of 2017.
- All applications must include certified copies of IDs of the parents/spouses and/or legal guardians, as well as the student. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Parents, spouses and legal guardians will be requested to acknowledge that they understand that personal information will be requested and provided to third parties who will assist the university with verifying income and that their signature to the application constitutes express written consent.
- All parties (father/mother/spouse/legal guardians/student) must complete and sign the application.
- Students whose applications are unsuccessful may appeal within 14 days of the outcome of the decision by completing an appeal form that will be available on the university's website.
- The financial sustainability of universities is at risk if students do not pay their fees and outstanding debt.
- As in the past, all students are required to pay registration and minimum payable fees upon registration. Only NSFAS-approved students and students funded by other approved sponsors are exempted from these payments. Documented proof will have to be submitted.
- Academically deserving students who are struggling to pay their registration fees and/or outstanding debt must engage with the university's Finance Office to agree upon a repayment plan. During the registration process assistance will be available on campuses.
- Universities have been requested to manage student debt through fair and transparent debt management policies and processes in order to ensure that all outstanding student debt is recovered within a reasonable and acceptable period.
Please direct any enquiries to:
018 389 2330 / 2372
018 299 2052 / 2046 / 2045
VAAL TRIANGLE CAMPUS:
016 910 3157
Tuition fees and registration 2017
18 November 2016
During the NWU Council meeting on 17 November 2016, the proposed university budget for 2017, based on an in-depth analysis of the university’s financial position, was approved. As part of the budget, an annual tuition and residence fee increase of 8% was also approved. In principle this means that all NSFAS-qualifying students, as well as the “missing middle” students (i.e. those students whose households earn above the NSFAS threshold but less than R600 000 per year), will experience no fee increase for 2017. The approved increase will be paid by government to the university in the form of a grant (so-called gap funding), and will reflect as a credit on these students’ accounts. Students with full-cost bursaries and students with a household income that exceeds R600 000, will not qualify for the gap funding. As in the past, all students are required to pay registration and minimum payable fees upon registration. Only NSFAS-approved students and students funded by other approved sponsors are exempt from these payments, and will have to provide documentation as proof during registration.
1. Assistance during the registration process
1.1 Students with bursaries (other than approved NSFAS students)
Students who have been granted bursaries (other than approved NSFAS students as per the centralised application process), must submit corroborative documentation of the particular bursary during registration. Where an outstanding balance is payable for the previous year, students will be allowed to register if the bursary providers have undertaken in writing to pay for the outstanding amount as well.
1.2 Students with bank loans and Eduloan (Fundi)
Corroborative documentation of loans must be submitted during registration. Where an outstanding balance is payable for the previous year, students will be allowed to register if the loan makes provision for payment of the outstanding amount as well.
1.3 Individual student cases
As in the past, there will be formal structures, such as the registration committee (on which the Campus Student Representative Councils will also be represented), on each of the NWU’s three campuses, to decide about individual cases. Each case will be considered on merit, taking into account the availability of funds. Only students who have not been able to register for whatever financial reason will be referred to these structures. The aim is to enable as many academically deserving and financially needy students as possible to register in 2017.
The assessment of these individual cases will include among others the consideration of the academic performance of the student and instances where only a few modules are still outstanding for completion of a qualification.
When a student qualifies for a merit bursary for an amount that will cover at least the first payment, that student will be allowed to register.
The Realpay instalment option will also be available as an alternative method to pay fees by means of a signed debit order over a period of time. Registration fees are however still payable. Please note that terms and conditions are applicable.
2. Outstanding debt
The NWU makes a serious appeal to parents and students to make urgent arrangements for the payment of all outstanding fees. This is to ensure that students can continue their studies and receive their degrees upon completion.
It will not be possible for all students to register, notwithstanding all the resources and processes mentioned above. Students who - despite best effort to resolve their issues - go through the whole process without finding solutions, may still not be able to register.
3. "Missing middle" students
Students whose households earn above the NSFAS threshold, but who earn less than R600 000 per year, will be requested to apply for the gap funding (to cover only the fee increase), by means of an official application process at the NWU.
This application process for missing middle students will be communicated in due course in a separate communique. In the meantime please note that the following documentation must be supplied as supporting evidence of household income upon application: salary advices of parents/guardians, certified copies of their IDs, together with a form indicating consent to enable the university to conduct a credit check, if necessary.
4. International students
International students, including SADC students, will not qualify for the fee-adjustment grant.
We understand our students’ concerns about unaffordable tuition fees, but the NWU, like any other institution, needs to maintain financial sustainability in order to continue with its core business and to remain a national asset. This core business entails producing ground-breaking research and rendering quality education – while shaping the lives of our students – to ensure that we deliver well-rounded graduates.
The NWU acknowledges the initiatives of government to absorb the fee increment for the poor and the missing middle for 2017 and supports the effort to make higher education progressively affordable in future.
Apart from this, management also remains committed to assist our students, and would like to encourage them and their parents/guardians to approach us to ensure that all avenues are explored to enable students to register and continue with their studies.
The management of the university wishes all our stakeholders a wonderful festive season and prosperous 2017.
Please direct any enquiries to:
018 389 2020/ 2478
018 299 2667/ 2668/ 2669/ 2670/ 2671/ 2672/ 2673
VAAL TRIANGLE CAMPUS:
016 910 3155/ 3530