THE way that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding criteria are structured at present needs to be reviewed to enable more students from disadvantaged backgrounds to get funding.
I find it absurd that tertiary institutions still turn away large numbers of underprivileged families when uncommitted funds are returned to the pool of the scheme year in and year out.
For instance, my younger brother's latest application for funding was declined because he failed to submit an affidavit stating that our parents are unemployed. In the past he had submitted affidavits on three occasions but was still rejected.
We are talking about a student who might not be able to continue his engineering studies for the second semester because of lack of funding despite achieving an average of 75percent in the first semester.
These tertiary institutions (particularly the Pretoria University of Technology) are placing the future of the majority of South African youths as well as that of the country at risk because the country is in dire need of their critical skills.
At the moment I have to live with the fact that my brother has to discontinue his studies for the second semester owing to his outstanding fees.
Thembi Nkuna,Grant officer: sports andrecreation, National Lotteries Board