The cost of tertiary education is a barrier between many students and their academic goals. However, this latest announcement will put many students' minds at ease and allow them to focus on their education.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande has revealed that all qualifying students who applied for a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will receive funding.
This applies to students who’ve been admitted to accredited programmes in public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions of higher learning.
Nzimande said, “all qualifying NSFAS students this year who have been admitted to accredited programmes at universities and colleges will be funded for the 2022 academic year”.
The reassurance from Nzimande comes after Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, Chantel King asked him to provide the details of how the predicted R10 billion shortfall in funding for the NSFAS in the 2022 academic year will be covered.
Nzimande explained that R1.5 billion will be reprioritized from the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovations’ 2022/23 budget
This is in addition to an additional amount of R7.775 billion for the 2022/ 23 financial year allocated by the National Treasury.
The Minister said, “This allocation is in line with the projected R9.3 billion shortfall for NSFAS in the 2022/23 financial year”.
He added that a task team is working with the department to develop a comprehensive student financing model that will bring certainty in terms of the different funding needs of the students.
The NSFAS bursary covers tuition costs, accommodation costs, food, transport, textbook allowance, learning material costs and registration fees.