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QUICKER STUDENT LOANS ON THE CARDS

For the first time since qualification verification became available in South Africa, university students will be able to instantly verify the fact that they have registered.

“The implications of this are far reaching,” Qualifications Verification Services (QVS) managing director Danie Strydom said in a statement on Wednesday.

“It means, among other things, that student loans can be granted much quicker so that individuals can pay for tuition and buy books sooner than before,” he said.

In the past, students had to obtain a letter from the university to confirm that they had registered. This had to be presented to the bank where the student had applied for a loan. It usually took several days for the bank to verify the authenticity of the letter before funds became available.

“By replicating the computer database of the university, the whole process can take place online and student registrations can be verified in seconds rather than the days that it took previously,” Strydom said.

QVS’s announcement had raised serious interest, and all the major banks would gather at the University of the Free State on Thursday where they would be fully briefed on the new service.

Seven universities had already subscribed to the new QVS services and would implement them soon.

Student registrations and qualification verifications currently live on the QVS system were the University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology, and the University of the Free State.

Other universities in implementation stages were the University of Stellenbosch, Durban University of Technology, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

The new online service would also save the banks millions in lost revenue by informing them when students had terminated their studies, thus becoming ineligible for the reduced interest rate loans, he said.

They would also immediately have to start repaying their loans.

“Banks risk losing millions of rand every year by students absconding and not repaying their loans.

“Our new product will keep banks and other role players, such as trustees of bursary funds, up to date on the status of every student on a day-to-day basis,” Strydom said.

Students would be required to give permission to have their details made known on the database and would have full access themselves to ensure that the correct information was displayed.

The system was secure and fully automated in the sense that computers, rather than human beings, did the processing.

It could also be audited to ensure that no mistakes slipped in, he said.

Article by SA Good News



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