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Over R80bn set aside to fund prospective students from poor families - Nzimande

Blade Nzimande
Image: Rogan Ward.

Government has set aside more than R80bn for the next three years to ensure that prospective students from poor and working-class families have access to higher education and training.

Minister of higher education, science and technology Blade Nzimande said this on Monday as he announced the official opening of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) 2020 online application. The 2020 application cycle will run for a period of three months and will close on November 30.

Nzimande also announced that Dr Randall Carolissen has agreed to continue as NSFAS administrator.

“I have decided to approve a second phase of administration from August 2019 to August 2020. Despite a number of areas that require improvements in the management of NSFAS and the student funding system, DR Carolissen has done a tremendous job in improving the functionality of the system,” Nzimande said.

He said in 2019, NSFAS funded close to 45% of the undergraduate student population at public universities.

“It is gratifying to note that comparing the 2008 cohort of university students who received NSFAS funding with the general cohort of undergraduate students starting in that year, the NSFAS cohort outperformed the national cohort by moiré than 10% . I am proud that we are making a critical difference in the lives of young people from poor and working-class backgrounds,” Nzimande said.

Nzimande said they are committed to ensuring that student funding system is effectively managed and implemented across universities and TVET colleges and that students are able to fully access the funding that government has made available.

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