Millions Of Students Applying To TVET Colleges


The promotion of TVET colleges is one of the Higher Education Department's goals. This goal is starting to pay dividends as millions of students apply for for enrollment. 



Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges received a total of 2.4 million complete applications from new students for 2024 enrollment.

The majority of these applications, totalling 827,535, were received in January 2024. The number of new students admitted for the 2024 academic year was 55,019.

During a recent meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, significant insights were shared regarding the applications and admissions process for TVET colleges in South Africa for the 2024 academic year.

The importance of efficiently processing these applications and admitting new students promptly was emphasised to alleviate pressure at the beginning of the academic year. Effective management of the enrollment plan and registration processes is crucial for ensuring a smooth transition for both students and institutions.

TVET Programmes Students Are Registering In

  • National Certificate Vocational: 127,949 registrations
  • Occupational Hairdressing: 880 registrations
  • PLP Programmes: 4,396 registrations
  • Report 191 S: 103,851 registrations
  • Report 191 T: 54,403 registrations


Several challenges were highlighted during the meeting, with financial constraints and outstanding debt emerging as significant hurdles. Delays in National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) payments and unresolved applications have also hindered the registration of returning students.

Additionally, instances were noted where textbooks were not procured. TVET colleges facing these challenges were instructed to take the necessary action to ensure this does not disrupt the progression of the 2024 academic year.

There was also sporadic strike action that occurred mainly because of NSFAS matters. In the main, this is related to the pilot project on student accommodation implemented by NSFAS. The Department is actively engaged with NSFAS on this matter.

Re-Admission Of Returning Students

The committee noted that the process of re-admitting returning students has not been put into practice, which could lead to queues and pressure at the beginning of the academic year.

One of the main reasons for this is the outstanding debt of these students, requiring special payment arrangements.

Although efforts are made to reduce long queues, it's important to recognize that students in TVET colleges often face challenging socio-economic conditions. Despite the queues, the college works directly with students to help them continue their studies whenever feasible.

Additionally, there are technical challenges in digitising and automating application and registration processes within the business system modules.

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme provides NSFAS bursaries to students who come from poor and working class backgrounds. This includes TVET College students.




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