The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will visit the hometowns of prospective students to reach rural and remote communities in South Africa.

The government student bursary and loan scheme said the outreach programme would focus on areas with a low number of applications received leading up to a November 30 deadline.

“We cannot ignore the fact that there are disparities in our communities, therefore government needs to take its services to the communities. The power of education can change a series of generations,” NSFAS administrator Dr Randall Carolissen said during an outreach session in Ugu district in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has thrown the book at final year university student who complained that her funding had been withdrawn just four months before she could complete her degree.

Between September and November every year, NSFAS agents travel around the country to give out information and offer opportunities to applicants for funding at institutions such as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

Leading up to the November 30 deadline for applications, the agents will be deployed across all nine provinces with a special focus on the Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape due to the low number of applications received in these provinces. 

NSFAS has received 348,240 applications nationwide, with 100,130 coming from prospective students in KwaZulu-Natal, 70,919 in Gauteng and 54,601 in Limpopo.

– ANA, editing by Stella Mapenzauswa