03/04/2017 08:59 SAST | Updated 03/04/2017 11:19 SAST

Two Campuses Shut Down As Students Protest New Funding Model

The universities of Venda and the Free State have seen protests over a new Nfsas funding model.

Campuses at two universities have shut down over problems with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas), Business Day reported.

At the University of Venda, students protested after not receiving their living allowances, while at the University of the Free State's Qwaqwa campus, students protested because of the slow processing of the study-funding application appeals.

The paper reported that previously, universities had distributed allowances to students, but a new model was recently introduced where funds would be directly distributed to students.

Takalani Dzaga, spokesperson for the University of Venda, said students had undertaken to call off their protests after consultations with management were held. But students would only return to lectures when all the students had received their living allowances.

Nfsas spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo told Business Day that the University of Venda had 6443 students funded by the scheme. But registration confirmations had only been sent to 3891. Nfsas reportedly said it was the fault of the university for not generating all of the forms.

Meanwhile, at the University of the Free State, students reportedly handed over a memorandum of demands to Qwaqwa campus management. Their demands relate to study-funding application appeals, and requests for the university's provisional regisatration deadline to be extended.