Universities Want To Deviate From NSFAS Accommodation Criteria

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Universities Want To Deviate From NSFAS Accommodation Criteria

For lessors to be granted permission to house NSFAS beneficiaries, many requirements must be met. In order to accommodate more students, institutions are now looking for ways to deviate from those requirements.



Universities Want To Deviate From NSFAS Accommodation Criteria

Millions of students have been able to complete their studies without extreme financial burden thanks to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

NSFAS students are still being left without a place to stay at the beginning of each academic year when it comes to accommodation. Some institutions have realized an accommodation issue partly as a result of NSFAS’s accommodation requirements as this pattern repeats itself.


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To be accredited, student accommodation must be within 20 km of the students’ institutions. Private and off-campus accommodations should be within a reasonable distance of campus transportation, and be priced reasonably enough for students to be able to afford them given the newly proposed cap on accommodation allowances of R45 000.

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As well as basic amenities, there are other requirements. To name only a few, these include room size requirements, internet requirements, and furniture necessities.


According to a recent response to a committee question from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation,

Some institutions…have a challenge of accommodation, where the areas the campuses are located have no suitable accommodation that can be accredited or leased for placement of students. These institutions have applied for a deviation from the NSFAS Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for the NSFAS funded students

Students will be allowed to live in accommodation that is neither accredited by NSFAS nor supported by student allowances if the deviation is approved. During registration, fewer students will be left unaccommodated.


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However, the ministry did point out that late registration for accommodation has also contributed to students not receiving accommodations. “Universities have prepared spaces for such emergencies and students are allocated temporary beds until their registrations are finalized”, according to a report.

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