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The problem of funding SA students can be solved. Here’s how

Ideas

The problem of funding SA students can be solved. Here’s how

SA’s private financial sector should fund all students, no matter their means, with loans underwritten by the state

Columnist

SA’s student funding model is unsustainable. We need one that provides loans, rather than grants, to every student, no matter their income status. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS), which is mired in red-tape, inefficiency and poor decision-making, like many other government agencies, should be abolished and replaced with a government-supported private-sector fund.

According to Universities South Africa, student debt stood at R16.5bn in March. This year 120,000 students may not graduate because collectively they owe tertiary institutions about R7bn.

Student funding policy should be based on honesty, affordability and pragmatism. Up to now, it has, like most ANC government policy, been based on ideology and wishful thinking, not financial reality...

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