Cornerstone Economic Research developed the methodology for conducting performance and expenditure reviews (PERs) in 2012. Using this methodology, in 2013 the National Treasury, in partnership with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, initiated a series of PERs of selected public programmes or policies, of which CER conducted the six reviews presented on this page. For further information, and to see PERs carried out by other parties, please go to the GTAC websiteClick here to download a description of the PER methodology.

Higher Education & Training - National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

Authors: Conrad Barberton, Jonathan Carter, Carmen Abdoll, Fiona Lewis, Charles Sheppard
Date: 2016-02-24

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Download the Costing Model - Locked.
Download the Costing Model.

The main purpose of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is to enable young people from poor households to obtain a higher education. This is essential for expanding South Africa’s skills base and a powerful mechanism for breaking the intergenerational cycle of household poverty and exclusion. (Source: Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) 2016. Accessed: 31 October 2016)

CER was commissioned by National Treasury to develop tools to enable understanding of the costs of the NSFAS administration, and to estimate the optimal funding level for funding the NSFAS loans and TVET grants to achieve specific outcomes.

The report details an analysis of the organisational and implementation logic of NSFAS, an understanding of the current expenditure and financial performance of the NSFAS entity and the funding streams it manages, an analysis of the cost elements and expenditure drivers of the NSFAS entity and the funding streams it manages, and finally it discusses proposed improvements for linking policy intent and programmatic design.