Thousands of students who were anxious about how to pay for their tertiary education now have a chance to study further as a result of an additional funding of R1 billion from the Department of Higher Education and Training.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has given National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) more money for the 2014 academic year. Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande says the additional funding will be used to cover the 2013 and 2014 shortfall for continuing students. “In respect to the shortfall of funds, the department has made available an additional amount of R1 billion sourced from the National Skills Fund (NSF) to all universities to cover the 2013 and 2014 shortfall for continuing students.
“The department has also actively engaged with sector education and training authorities (SETAs) to support students at universities.”
Minister Nzimande said as a result of limited funds, students who were funded by NSFAS in 2013 and did not perform well are likely not to receive funding from the scheme.
“Allow me to correct a misconception being portrayed by the media, amongst students or institutions regarding previously funded NSFAS students being prevented from registering for the 2014 academic year.”
In this context of limited funds, students who have performed poorly in 2013 will most likely not be funded in 2014” he added.
Recently, students across different institutions protested against lack of funding from NSFAS. Minster Nzimande said the destruction of property during protests will not be tolerated.
“We have been made aware of protest actions that took place at the University of Johannesburg, Durban University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology.
“My major concern is the disruption of academic progress and agony that is suffered by new students at universities and the parents of these students.
“I hope that the meetings we have had with stakeholders will help to address these. I also wish to strongly condemn any disruptions and destruction of property, and urge all to desist from this” he urged.
He added that students who received NSFAS funding in 2013 should not be prevented from registering in 2014 because of outstanding fees.
Since 1991, NSFAS has funded over 1 million students. One of those students is Group Manager: IT Strategy at Sun International Veronica Motloutsi from Shosanguve.
Motloutsi says NSAFAS made her realise her dream by paying for her studies at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).
“NSFAS helped me realise my dreams by giving me the funding I needed to further my education and continue on my journey to success. Now my dream is that all young boys and girls get a good education and understand its value.”
Meanwhile, the department says the department has made available more opportunities for students to further their studies at universities, Further Education and Training (FET) and Sector Education and Training Authority (SETAs). He says there are 396 449 opportunities available to students.
These opportunities can further be broken down as follows:
- 197 946 new entrant opportunities at Universities
- 23 000 Engineering and Business Studies opportunities at FET Colleges
- 44 000 National Certificate Vocational programme opportunities at FET Colleges 10 000 Artisanal opportunities at FET Colleges
- 93 000 Occupationally-directed (apprenticeship or leanerships) opportunities in collaboration with FET Colleges, SETAs and employers
- 12 000 Artisanal opportunities within the Retail Auto sector
- 16 503 Leanerships through SETAs