More than two million students studying at South Africa’s public Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges have been funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) since 2013, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, has announced.
The total number of students who were supported by the government each year at universities were as follows:
2013 — 194 923;
2014 — 186 150;
2015 — 178 961; and
2016 — 244 488
TVET College beneficiaries were allocated as follows:
2013 — 220 978;
2014 — 228 642;
2015 — 235 988; and
2016 — 225 864
In addition, 194 353 university students have so far been supported in the 2017 academic year, with 78 413 covering first time entrances and 115 940 for returning students.
It is also envisaged that College funding decisions for the current academic year will be concluded at the end of this month (April 2017) – with 123 332 students already receiving support.
“It is important to note that these figures will increase after the conclusion of all pending funding decisions.
In this regard, NSFAS has employed additional resources to expedite the process,” Minister Nzimande said, while restating the government's commitment to finding the resources to support the children of all poor, working class and middle class families in their quest to better their lives and those of their families through skills acquisition.