Education for all, says Nzimande

HIGHER Education Minister Blade Nzimande has repeated his promise that no poor student will be "deprived of access to higher education because of financial constraints".

Nzimande, pictured, also announced a cash injection for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which provides loans and bursaries to disadvantaged students.

He said he wanted to see a million students enrolled in tertiary institutions by 2014, up from about 400000 today.

Speaking at a press briefing in Parliament yesterday, Nzimande said, "we have to increase the bursary component if we are to respond to the tasks we have just outlined".

The amount of money NSFAS disburses to students might also increase, since "for some students it is no use to give them money for accommodation and tuition when they don't have food at all", Nzimande said.

He said the system where universities only accept students who have matric exemptions might also change.

"Only 18percent of our students get a matric exemption and this is not a true reflection of the potential of our youth," Nzimande said.

Meanwhile, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said President Jacob Zuma had asked her to set up a meeting with all principals in the country on August 7.

About 25000 principals are set to attend the meeting, she said.