NSFAF changes funding model

New Era Newspaper Namibia
Official Logo for New Era Newspaper 2016 version


In an effort to operationalise President Hage Geingob’s call to move away from the study loan scheme to a system of grants, the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has changed its funding model for local institutions from the traditional predetermined rate, to a new model whereby tuition fees are covered 100 percent by a grant.

However, the non-tuition components of accommodation and meals, transport and book allowance are provided as loans and are only partially covered.

NSFAF chief human capital and corporate affairs officer Olavi Hamwele revealed this yesterday to New Era when asked about the president’s call last year to abandon the study loan system in favour of a system of grants that would enable students to build up wealth portfolios, instead of sinking into debt even before they graduate.

Hamwele said the new funding model is aimed at local institutions, namely the University of Namibia (Unam), the University of Science and technology (NUST) and the International University of Management (IUM), whose students get financial assistance from government.

For students staying in university hostels, accommodation and meals are covered 80 percent, or 50 percent for institutions with hostel accommodation, but no catering services, as well as N$3 000 for books.
Students who lodge privately will get N$12 000 per year for accommodation, N$6 600 for transport and N$3 000 for books.

Although the new funding model does not provide for a full grant system, it alleviates students’ loan liability significantly, he said.

Asked what the total current collective debt owed to NSFAF by students is, Hamwele said: “This remains difficult to establish due to the lack of recordkeeping in the time before NSFAF was established as an independent secretariat in 2013.” However, he said the reconstruction of student records is progressing well and the total debt for that period is estimated at N$1.65 billion.

Since 2013, loans of N$1.35billion have been provided, bringing the total outstanding balance to some N$3 billion, something the president wants addressed through a grant system.

Currently all courses in Namibia’s tertiary institutions, irrespective of their status, are offered at a cost, in terms of tuition and other fees. Many students, who get the chance to enter tertiary institutions with grades of 25 points and above, stand a chance to be awarded loans and scholarships through the NSFAF.

It comes at a high cost though, as students have to re-pay the loans upon completion of their studies.
The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) at the time expressed delight at Geingob’s call for the abolition of the study loan system in favour of a grant system. Nanso has long been an advocate of the abolition of the current system.

Over the past few years, institutions of higher learning have been turning away student loanholders during registration and when it is time to take exams, as government had not yet released the funds owed to the institutions.
Last year Nanso, alongside the student leadership of Unam, NUST and IUM, reiterated the need for NSFAF loans to be transformed into grants.


  1. NSFAF promised to by end of June, then July, then August, then end of SEPTEMBER and now October…
    They can’t keep their promises.
    NUST students who re-activated their loans got no money from NSFAF

  2. This is pure discrimination against Namibians who are studying at universities and colleges outside Namibia. I doubt if that’s what the Harambee Prosperity Plan cater. Why not cover all Namibians regardless where they are studying? Why treat some students like adopted children? Let all the changes benefit all students funded by NSFAF.

  3. I just have one question.
    When is NSFAF settling our tuition fees?. Exams are starting in less than a month and we are hardly allowed to write when we haven’t paid.

  4. Very good… but plz NSFAF speed up ur process of payments and activation of student files… Students suffer all year while until end when u pay them tht late.

  5. Why is NSFAF not giving equal amount of nontuition fees to students? Some students are having the same modules, but didn’t receive equal amount. Why?

  6. Some of us our tuition fees are not paid yet. We even have a fear of not writing the exam and it is always a reminder from UNAM forcing us to pay. NSFAF respond to this.

  7. Nsfaf must speed up their funding process, they work like turtles, they are not seriouse at all
    our tuition fees arent paid yet, nor did we receive non tuition fees to pay our landlords and buy study material,
    school work is piling up and the exams are around the corner, if i dont pay my rent by monday ill be thrown out

  8. I don’t understand this government. How couldn’t students pay back tuition fees and repay non-tuition fees? Robbing itself or us in return? However, our tuitions must be settled soon.???

  9. Some of us completed our education 2years back under your funds but until now we are not given our qualification due to the outstanding fees that NSFAF failed to pay.Now my question is who is responsible of paying those outstanding fees so that we can be given our certificates?give us the feedback please…..@Stressed Former Students

  10. it is not reasonable to pay tuition fees for other students and again give them their non-tuition fee while others still have outstanding fees , something must be done please we are tired of waiting ….NSFAF do something please…


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