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NSFAS Funding for TVET Students in 2020

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Funding arrangements for TVET College students on NSFAS funding have been announced.

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Since 2018 TVET students with a joint family income of R350 000 are also financially eligible for bursary funding. 95% of poor and disadvantaged students who register at TVET colleges are found to be eligible for NSFAS funding.

All qualifying students will receive two types of allowances to help them succeed in their studies, namely, accommodation and personal care, or travel and personal care.

Students who stay in college accommodation receive thirty-three thousand (R33 000) per annum, whilst those in private accommodation are funded in three categories, urban twenty five thousand two hundred (R25 200); peri-urban eighteen thousand nine hundred (R18 900) and rural fifteen thousand seven hundred and fifty (R15 750).

Travel allowances are provided at seven thousand three hundred and fifty (R7 350) per annum and the personal care allowance two thousand nine hundred (R2 900) per annum.

It is very important that TVET students using private accommodation ensure that, before they sign contractual agreements with landlords, they satisfy themselves with the quality of the physical accommodation as well as any services that they will be paying for.

It must be noted that despite the difficult fiscal situation, and the many social demands requiring support, government has been able to maintain the levels of support to students originally committed for 2018 onwards.

I think you will agree with me that the subsidized funding being provided through the DHET bursary scheme is generous. I urge students to make the best possible use of the support being provided to focus on their studies, and to access all other forms of academic and other support available at our public institutions.

To those who are fortunate enough to access universities and TVET colleges, we want you to succeed and graduate and committed to making sure that this funding is able to assist you to do this.

Students on the new bursary scheme are required to sign agreements with NSFAS which also signal their commitment to and understanding of the requirements of the scheme.

They receive a maximum of the minimum qualification time plus one year of funding on the fully-subsidised scheme.

TVET NSFAS APPLICATIONS 

In relation to the TVET sector, a total of 90 157 online applications were received by NSFAS from TVET college students as at 15 December 2019.

For the remainder, the 2020 walk-in application process commenced on 9 January 2020 and will close on 31 January.

The aim is to minimize and finally eliminate walk-ins over the next 3 years.

In addressing the capacity constraints to capture bursary applications in colleges, NSFAS has contracted the services of Metrofile. In this arrangement Metrofile will capture the forms completed by students and verified by the college, and will be forward to NSFAS.

Based on this new process for capturing student application forms NSFAS will provide a funding decision within 10 working days upon receiving complete and valid new applications.

Despite the achievement of the relative stability within NSFAS, pressing challenges remain. The administrative capacity of TVET colleges, coupled with the neglect of this sector within NSFAS, compelled the introduction of a cellphone activated NSFAS Wallet.

Initially this measure was aimed at only 6 colleges but quickly ballooned to 26 colleges, significantly increasing costs to NSFAS. Sufficient progress had been achieved to move the entire TVET student allowances, to direct payments into bank accounts by the commencement of the 2020 academic year.

This funding has been ring-fenced, and is over and above the funding for the planned enrolments into the various programmes. Furthermore, colleges will claim the 20% tuition fees and allowances from NSFAS for these students.

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