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Sun Sep 25 17:41:33 SAST 2016

Student aid for 205‚000 at universities and 200‚000 at TVET colleges

TMG Digital | 11 January, 2016 14:29
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande
Image by: Sunday Times

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande‚ speaking amidst a resumption of #FeesMustFall protests‚ on Monday confirmed that university students who meet the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) means test will not pay upfront payments when registering for the 2016 academic year.

He told a press briefing that his Department is committed to realising South Africans’ right to Higher Education and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

“We have resolved the 0% fee increment for 2016 with universities‚ which amounted to R2.33 billion. Government has committed an additional R6.912 billion funding to support university education in the system…Government has also reprioritised R2.543 billion of State funding in the 2016/17 financial year to be allocated to NSFAS.

“University students who meet the NSFAS means test will not pay upfront payments when registering for the 2016 academic year.”

In 2016‚ South Africa’s public universities will provide access to approximately 212‚472 new entrants‚ he said.

Nzimande said NSFAS will fund 205‚000 first-time entering and continuing students at universities and 200‚000 students at TVET colleges. Skills Education Training Authorities (SETAs) will provide 51‚835 learning programme opportunities.

NSFAS has been allocated over R700 million for full bursaries for scarce and critical skills for the current year‚ the minister said.

He added NSFAS has earmarked R72.9 million in the 2016 academic year to provide financial aid to disabled students in universities.

Learners looking for spaces in the university education system can contact the toll free call centre on 0800 356 635‚ the minister said.

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