Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) will seek the best way to facilitate non-tuition fees payment on a monthly basis in order to instil a culture of financial discipline.
This was part of the resolutions taken during a NSFAF stakeholder meeting, which was attended by representatives of the University of Namibia (UNAM), Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and International University of Management (IUM), in the capital on Thursday.
Addressing the meeting, Hilya Nghiwete, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NSFAF, said currently students receive a one-off non-tuition fees payment from NSFAF but do not use the money for the intended purposes.
She said the financial institution would also review book allowances and increase the allocation to a reasonable amount.
At the same time, she said NSFAF would investigate the possibility of allocating a significant amount of money for students to acquire laptops/computers or tablets for ease of downloading study materials and journals.
According to Nghiwete, it was agreed that institutions of higher learning (IHL), as part of their social responsibility, should assist the fund to undertake an extensive research to determine a fair and reasonable amount that NSFAF can assist students with in this regard.
“The study should cover other regions where institutions of higher learning have campuses and not only Windhoek,” she said.
She said IUM also agreed to share information regarding its transportation initiative with other institutions of higher learning and NSFAF in order to assist students with transport to and from their respective campuses.
“IHL shall inform NSFAF on the number of students who do not meet funding requirements but are accepted into foundational programmes,” she added.
According to her, this would assist NSFAF to include these requirements into its award policy, adding that this talks to students who scored 20-24 points.
She also revealed NSFAF plans to engage IHL in integrating information technology-related issues.
This consultation process would involve the supply and integration of information between NSFAF and IHL systems.
Furthermore, NSFAF shall engage the ministries of education and home affairs to investigate the possibility of having all Grade 12 learners obtain national identity document in order to create a unique identifier that can be used by both IHL and NSFAF for accessing student’s information.
NSFAF also informed stakeholders of its intention to develop a product for IHL to build capacity for academic staff.
“It was resolved that a technical committee between NSFAF and IHL shall be established to rollout this initiative,” she said.
Further, IHL shall submit areas of need and funding requirements to NSFAF for inclusion in the award policy.