The shortfall in government funding of university fees and its effects on graduation rates.
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The Fees Must Fall Campaign, which began in 2015 and continued into 2016 was a campaign in which university students held protests because of high university fees. The National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which provides students with funding was brought under scrutiny as students were now protesting as they could not afford the high university fees. In 2016, a cohort analysis of NSFAS students, submitted to executive management of the NSFAS uncovered that only 13.1 per cent of NSAFS funded students complete their qualification within the regulation period and 32.2 percent dropped out within 5 years of study (NSFAS Research and Policy, 2016). The problem identified was whether NSFAS funding was sufficient for a student to attend university and graduate and in what ways could the private sector assist the students who are underfunded. A quantitative approach utilising a questionnaire directed at NSFAS funded students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal was undertaken. The questions were structured to obtain information if the shortfall in funding was affecting their academic performance forcing them to dropout of university. The research indicated there is a short-fall in funding received by NSFAS funded students which is adversely affecting their academic performance. There are ways in which this can be remedied with the implementation of new funding models provided by the government.