Missing middle students to benefit from USAf funds
University students who fall under the missing middle category are set to benefit from R280 million secured by Universities South Africa.
These 9500 students are from families whose income falls in the R350 001 to R600 000 bracket which places them above the qualifying threshold of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
The funds are from Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) and are a grant to fund bursaries of these students in the public higher education sector for this year's academic program.
USAf Chief Executive Officer Professor Ahmed Bawa said the award of R200 million will go into bursaries of at least 7000 students enrolled for undergraduate study while the remaining R80 million has been allocated towards bursaries of atleast 2500 students pursuing post-graduate studies.
"All these 9500 beneficiaries have been selected by financial aid offices across the public university system. We are immensely grateful to the ETDP-SETA for this cash injection. While this amount will reach about 38% of the target population a large majority remains left out in the cold. Which is why USAf will continue to negotiate with private sector organisations to join it in partnerships that seek to drive a fundamental transformation of our society by increasing access to higher education of students from economically struggling class," Bawa said.
ETDP SETA chief executive officer Nombulelo Sesi Nxesi said she is confident that USAf's involvement in these bursary allocations will helps to eliminate possible duplications of bursary disbursement towards students in need.
"It is only through education that the lives of our people can be improved for the better," she said.