Nsfas Gets Billions In Budget Increase

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There will be an increased focus on preparing young people to fill the scarce skill shortage in the South African economy. This was revealed during the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation’s budget vote on Thursday

 


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Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande revealed that this will be achieved through increased support and funding for students to obtain their qualifications at institutions of higher learning in the country.

The department will allocate R144.3 billion over the next 3 years to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to support over 800 000 students in Universities and Technical Vocational  Education and Training (TVET) colleges.  

In 2022/23 NSFAS will receive a budget of  R49 billion, of which the Department of Higher Education and Training is contributing R45.9 billion.

The Minister explained that this includes funding reprioritized from the Departmental budget, to ensure that the full shortfall for NSFAS is addressed in 2022/23 to support students during the 2022 academic year.

Nzimande however raised concerns about the imbalance of the University to TVET college enrollments. This, as 85% of the department's budget goes to universities which only serve 6% of youth populations.  University enrollment amounted to 1.1 million students for the 2022 academic year.

The minister announced the improvements which are expected to be made in the TVET college enrollment figures. The minister revealed that they have increased the number of students enrolled in TVET colleges from 452 277 in 2020/21 to 580 849 in 2022/23.

He said, “We will also increase TVET college students receiving funding through NSFAS bursaries from 261 404 in 2020/21 to 329 554 in 2022/23”.

The department has also committed to placing 10 000 unemployed TVET students in workplaces. Nzimande also said they will be speeding up the issuing of certificates within 3 months of students obtaining a  qualification from a TVET college and releasing examination results per cycle for qualifying students from the last date of exams within 40 days.

This will prevent students from losing job opportunities due to not having their results and certificates.

 

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