Windhoek – New streamlined business processes and numerous integrated internal and external systems to optimise operations for online registration at the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) have been embraced by local students. The new system was launched on December 15, 2016 as part of the organisation’s Information Technology Master Plan.
The entire new applicants intake 2017 process has signalled a new era of efficiency and stakeholder service for Namibia and the new student application intake (2017), based on the Loan Grant, Application Management Information System (LGAMIS), has seen constant and continuous activity since December 15, 2016, with rave reviews from student users and figures to match.
This is good news, especially with the Grade 12 results having just come out and potential tertiary education students wanting to check their eligibility for some form of NSFAF funding.
In the first 24 hours the NSFAF application page was already used by 2 600 applicants. Some 66 percent accessed from computers, 30 percent from smartphones and about 3 percent from tablets. About 27 percent connected through MTC and 18 percent through Telecom Namibia, plus several connections from abroad.
On average NSFAF has always had some 30 users on the application system simultaneously, right from the start. When you dig deeper into the numbers and as this process has now been taken online, everything is measurable and quantifiable.
The figures speak for themselves: the number of users on the website, the number of Facebook engagements, the number of applications received, the number of documents provided, for example, and the number of enquiries received, to name only a few things that are tracked to constantly and almost on a daily basis optimise the application. The organisation also feels it made the right move by engaging Namibian youth online and through Facebook, as that is where they can be found. Namibian students know how to access, ask, request and use the information NSFAF has made available.
“The above figures show that the youth of Namibia are very active on the internet. They are online and Facebook is their platform of choice on which to engage and source information. NSFAF has used this to its advantage and created the eligibility checker in Facebook messenger as a so-called ‘bot’ to check eligibility where they are and in the manner that they are used to,” said Thomas Müller, Chief Information Officer of NSFAF.
This has been a major operation for NSFAF and its staff. A team of 30 NSFAF staff from all 14 regions in Namibia and all departments of NSFAF were actively involved in the intake 2017. There were dedicated working groups such as Regional Logistics and Resources, Campus Logistics and Resources, Awards Contracting & Customer Care, Marketing, Advertising and PR, and IT Infrastructure and Devices.
All these groups worked tirelessly to make the online application process for 2017 a success and available for those eager to study.
Not entirely satisfied with just having the online registration run itself, NSFAF has organised a roadshow to all 14 regions, visiting 119 locations while the Campus Logistics and Resources group organised NSFAF stands at 18 campuses throughout the country. NSFAF has never before reached such a broad audience, even in the most remote and rural areas, for any intake.