NSFAF team completes its fact-finding mission

05 Jun 2013 11:50
WINDHOEK, 05 JUN (NAMPA) - A team dispatched by the Board of the Namibia Students Financial Assistant Fund (NSFAF) to selected countries to assess institutions of higher learning which Namibian students applied to, has completed its fact-finding mission.
The team comprised officials from the Ministry of Education (MoE); staff from the NSFAF Secretariat; experts from the University of Namibia (Unam); the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA); National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and the Health Professions Council.
The aim of the fact-finding mission, carried out from March to the end of May this year, was to assess the quality and relevance of programmes offered at selected institutions.
It was also aimed at identifying alternative institutions which offer relevant courses for Namibian students and which the fund could cooperate with and negotiate favourable terms in the best interest of the Namibian students.
In addition, non-academic issues faced by students abroad such as living conditions and health insurance were also looked at.
A media statement issued by the NSFAF here on Wednesday said as at March 2013, there were some 700 students intending to study at tertiary institutions in India, China, Ukraine, Russia and Botswana.
It noted that all applications for studies in China for 2013 will be considered, while as from next year, the NSFAF will only fund students for postgraduate studies with a focus on research in China.
Students intending to study at ABM University College in Botswana were advised to look for identical courses offered by institutions inside Namibia.
The statement also said with regards to those wishing to study medicine and other health-related programmes in Ukraine, the Fund Secretariat will arrange placements at three universities in that country only.
These are the National Medical University Bogomolets, Vinnytsya National Pirogov Memorial Medical University and Khaikiv National Medical University.
?In future, these will be the only institutions of higher learning the NSFAF Secretariat and the MoE will cooperate with for the purposes of providing financial assistance in Ukraine,? the statement read.
For those wishing to study in Russia, the Fund Secretariat will arrange placements at the People's Friendship University and the First Moscow State Medical University, while those intending to study engineering will be placed at the Engineering Academy in St Petersburg.
In India, the JSS Institute and Oxford Nursing College are considered to offer relevant and suitable courses for Namibian students wishing to study in that country in future, therefore those Namibian students currently studying at Bangalore City College with financial support from the fund will be assisted to transfer to JSS and Oxford Nursing College, provided they meet the requirements of those institutions.
With regards to students who are privately sponsored at Bangalore City College, the Fund Secretariat advised their sponsors to consider relocating them.
The findings from the visits will enable the Fund Secretariat to give appropriate advice to students who are seeking financial assistance to undertake their studies outside the country, the statement noted.
Students whose applications for financial assistance for this year were put on hold were invited to attend a detailed briefing at the auditorium at Government Office Park in Windhoek on Tuesday, 11 June.