The beleaguered National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will re-open applications for funding for the 2019 academic year early in September, the department of higher education and training has confirmed. On Thursday, the department and scheme briefed parliament’s higher education and training portfolio committee on the ongoing crisis around the disbursement of funds to students. "The 2019 applications will be opened early in September 2018 and an effective plan for delivering student financial aid, which will involve the support and collaboration of universities and Training and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, will be developed within the next month. Work has already begun on this," said Diane Parker, a deputy director-general at the department. NSFAS has been struggling to ensure the smooth roll-out of free higher education. Many students have complained about delayed payments, which sparked protests at various tertiary institutions earlier in 2018. In July...

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