NSFAF Financial Assistance Policy
The NSFAF Financial Assistance Policy. Details of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) Policy.
NAMIBIA STUDENTS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FUND (NSFAF) POLICY
NSFAF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE POLICY INTRODUCTION
The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund is a loan/grant scheme which was designed to replace the Public Service bursary scheme whose purpose was to train people to work solely in the Civil Service. Soon after independence, the demand for new recruits in the Civil Service was significantly decreased following the integration of the various ethnic-based administrations into one national Government. Hence the Public Service bursary scheme lost its relevance. In the meantime the demand for financial assistance by students was ever on the increase. Cabinet therefore decided to replace the bursary scheme with the NSFAF, which would allow the Government to continue addressing the human resources need of the country in general beyond the needs and requirements of the Public Service. This NSFAF was approved in 1996 and being implemented with effect from January 1997. Ultimately the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) Act 2000 (Act No.26 of 2000) came into being and operational.
NSFAF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE POLICY PARAMETERS
The two main parameters for awarding financial support to students are allocation according to a Regional Quota (the region where the student wrote his/her first grade 12 examination) and Priority Fields of study. The regional quota is based on awarding assistance to a certain proportion of Grade 12 students in a particular political region as a percentage of all Grade 12 enrolled students. This ensures an equitable distribution of funds throughout the political regions, and guarantees that many more students now have access to the Fund than in the past.
The former bursary scheme was focused primarily on training people for the civil service, which was already oversubscribed. Giving priority to certain fields of study enables the Government to spearhead fields where the need for qualified staff is greater in terms of fulfilling Namibia’s human and economic development needs, or where economic growth will create employment opportunities.
Once the loan beneficiaries have completed their studies, they are required to fulfil their social responsibility and contribute to the Fund by repaying their loans.
NSFAF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE POLICY BASIC CRITERION
The NSFAF provides financial assistance by way of loan only to needy (full-time not part-time) Namibian students at recognized institutions of higher learning in accordance with the following requirements:
- Financial assistance is granted to cover tuition, textbooks, registration fees and related educational expenses/ costs at rates as may be determined and approved by the NSFAF Board form time to time.
- Financial assistance relating to accommodation, meals, transport, maintenance etc. are offered only to students in selected fields of study of high priority as determined by the Board from time to time.
- Financial assistance is offered only to students whose combined parental/guardian annual earnings/ gross salary does not exceed N$150 000 (basic salary plus allowances and other benefits minus income tax and pension fund contributions). Exception can be made in cases where parents/guardians are already paying for other children at any other recognized tertiary institution. In both situations proof thereof is required.
- Financial assistance offered to students on the basis of the regional quotas is meant to ensure fair distribution to students from all political regions.
- Financial assistance is only considered for first-degree at universities and certificate, diploma or first-degree courses at Polytechnic, Colleges and Vocational Training and Health centres. Financial assistance is not given to students pursuing courses outside Namibia that are offered in Namibia. If and when such an exception is made, only the local rates are applied.
- Financial assistance is provided to students pursuing studies in SADC in specified fields of studies at rates determined by the NSFAF Board from time to time.
- The NSFAF policy makes provision for funding only to undergraduate studies and not post-graduate studies except for students granted assistance in the form of scholarships offered by friendly governments and/or international organisations through co-operate agreements with the Government of Namibia.
- Students on scholarships receive loans only for air tickets and stipends.
- Payment for air tickets for students to come to Namibia to do practical training/research can only be paid upon approval of such a request which should be received in writing from the Institution and the student after the Ministry/Company concerned has accepted the student for practical training/research.
- Students returning to Namibia from foreign countries after completion of their studies can be assisted with excess luggage fees for unaccompanied weight up to 20kg (kilogram) only.
- Students, who are going for studies to foreign countries on their own or on scholarships obtain privately, cannot be assisted by the Fund except when they apply for scholarships offered by that country through the NSFAF and are selected. If such students are not selected and apply for financial assistance from the Fund in the form of a loan and if approved, the approved SADC rate applies.
- Payment can only be done upon the signed contract.
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