The NSFAF is a loan/grant scheme that was designed to replace the Public Service bursary scheme whose purpose was to train people to work solely in the Public Service. The operations of NSFAF were approved by Cabinet in 1996 and were implemented with effect from January 1997. Ultimately the NSFAF Act 2000 (Act No. 26 of 2000) came into being and operational. The two main parameters for awarding financial support to the deserving Namibian students are allocation according to a regional quota and priority fields of study. Application forms are obtainable at Head Office (Government Office Park) as well at regional offices from July and 31 October is the closing date for loan applications each year.
The mandate of NSFAF in terms of Act 26 of 2000 is to provide financial assistance in the form of loan/grant to eligible students at approved institutions of higher learning and to recover money from beneficiaries upon completion of their studies. The Division NSFAF carries out its functions through three sub-divisions, namely:
· Awards– which is responsible for invitation of loan applications, receiving and processing thereof. The Subdivision also administers the scholarships offered by friendly governments.
· Payment– with the objective of ensuring prompt payments of students loans/grants to recognised tertiary institutions and to process transfer payments for student’s stipends to Namibian Embassies abroad and reimburse payments to travel agencies for air tickets for students travelling abroad for studies.
· Recovery– with the objective of administering and controlling cases of loan and breach of contract in the most efficient and effective manner; to ensure that the collection of revenue in cases of loan and breach of contract is done properly and also to record and follow-up all cases of loan and breach of contract and account audit aspects in this connection.