NSFAS chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana discusses the role of leadership at universities during crises and allocates additional funds to NSFAS.  

A workshop aimed at improving crisis communication management at universities across the country was held in Cape Town earlier today.

Referred to as ‘Calm in the Storm’, the workshop was organised by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme or NSFAS. Participants heard that staff at universities were ill-prepared to deal with crises, as evidenced by their reactions to the #FeesMustFall protests that gripped the country last year.

NSFAS chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana, also took the opportunity to explain the objectives of the New Student Centred Model which seeks to make funding more student-orientated. This model aims to shift the responsibility of overseeing funding from universities to NSFAS directly. This will ease the burden of administration and, hopefully, reduce the delays in receiving funds, according to Nxasana.

Nxasana, who was the key note speaker for the workshop, said that the government is not able to keep up with the demands on universities while NSFAS is aiming to double the funding they receive from their stakeholders.

They have allocated an additional R4, 6 billion to help students with historical debt and R2 billion has been allocated for returning students.

Nxasana points out that students need more than financial support and the #FeesMustFall campaign generated focus on finding additional ways to fund students.

In a memorandum from the Parliamentary Office , the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande  said, “It is envisaged that once the new model is fully phased in and implemented, many of the current challenges will be resolved.”

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