Government Plans To Finalise New Student Funding Model

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In his State of The Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the government is planning to finalise the Comprehensive Student Funding Model which aims to assist students in higher education institutions who form part of the "missing middle" income bracket. 

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At the 2023 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the government aims to increase skills output through the higher education and training system. 

“Access to quality education for all is the most powerful instrument we have to end poverty,” said Ramaphosa. 

Many young South Africans are unable to pursue their tertiary education because they are unable to afford it, however the President announced that the government is working on finalizing the new Comprehensive Student Funding Model which will focus on assisting students who form part of the "missing middle" income bracket. 

Missing middle students are considered too rich to qualify for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as their annual household income is more than R350 000 but these students are unable to afford tertiary education. 

Amnesty International Spokesperson, Mienke Steytler says the government needs to communicate information about the new funding model with transparency so that the public is able to understand what it will entail. 

Steytler states that the government must also address the issues that surround other government funding models. 

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande has previously said that the Comprehensive Student Funding Model may include loan funding options for students in the missing middle. 

The Department of Higher Education and Training has stated that investigations into the loan funding options will consider the student debt situation in the country as well as the feasibility of collecting loans. 

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Lecture hall with university students

The Department of Higher Education and Training is considering introducing loans to provide financial support to higher education students who are apart of the "missing middle" income bracket. 

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