×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Over 20,000 students lose NSFAS funding

Group failed academics more than once

Koena Mashale Journalist
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, briefing on developments at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, briefing on developments at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Image: GCIS

More than 20,000 students have been defunded by a government scheme after they failed their academics more than once.

This was revealed by minister of higher education and training Blade Nzimande during a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday.

He said thousands of students had appealed the decision by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in 2023.

“Results from the department indicate that the 20,530 students did not progress and there are rules in eligibility that one has to continue to pass. Of course, there's a rule that allows you to fail once but you can't be allowed to fail twice,” said Nzimande.

He said NSFAS received 178,426 appeals from students who said they had been wrongly removed from the scheme.

“And so we give them an opportunity to apply and appeal their cases, and we found that from this group of appeals, 63,331 appeals were approved and their statuses have been or are being corrected,” said Nzimande.

He said 8,528 appeals were rejected by the scheme.

From the 178,426 appeals, 30,712 were invalid because students either withdrew their applications or there were duplicated applications.

“There were 41,338 appeals that required the submission of external dependencies, such as additional documentation, and about 20,908 are awaiting supporting document appeals, meaning the students submitted incorrect documents at the time of their initial appeal and were requested to provide further documents,” said Nzimande. 

He said the status of a student's funding changes due to the academic eligibility review being incomplete.

“The incompletion of this review due the delays in data that is needed to be received from universities, which results in disqualification of students,” said Nzimande.

mashalek@sowetan.co.za

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.