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NSFAS Students Will Receive Allowances, Says Minister

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Students funded by NSFAS will have their tuition and accommodation fees covered. Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande assured students during a media briefing on Thursday morning. 

Students on the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Bursary Scheme will continue to receive funding in 2021.

The DHET bursary scheme is a financial aid programme that provides 'fully-subsidised funding for poor and working class students at public universities'. 

Breakdown of NSFAS Allowances: 

  • Student allowances - R5000 for learning materials to purchase electronic devices for their studies.
  • Living allowance - R15 000 for full time students doing contact learning
  • Incidental allowance - R2 900 for distance learning & Unisa students 
  • Travel allowance - R7500 for students living at home or at non accredited accommodation. 

Universities are also faced with some trouble, as they have been receiving more applications this year from first time entering students. During the media briefing, Minister Nzimande broke down the numbers. 

Available spaces

  • 578 000 learners wrote grade 12 exam in 2020
  • 210 820 (out of 578 000) passed at bachelor entry
  • 150 600 (out of 578 000) passed at diploma level

However, there are only 184 315 available spaces for first time entering students. 

Minister Nzimande said the need for NSFAS funding has been increasing over the years, as more students qualify.  

In 2020, universities received R28.2 billion in NSFAS funding, nearly double what was received in 2018. TVET colleges on the other hand, received R6.5 billion in NSFAS funding last year, an increase from funding received in 2018. 

These numbers are expected to increase this year, as more students qualify for funding. 

Minister Blade Nzimande has thanked students for their patience, while NSFAS has been trying to finalise funding decisions. 

“I do acknowledge that this period has been stressful for many prospective students wishing to enter post school institutions as well as for their families.” he said. 

First time entering students have been given until next week to register. 

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