N+ Rule Does Not Target Student Leaders, Says Nzimande

Blade Nzimande has responded to allegations that the NSFAS N+ rule targets student leaders. The Higher Education Minister has also said that his Department aims to standardise Student Representative Council elections and to also have Government support SRCs more.

The Minister spoke on the allegation that the N+2 rule at NSFAS targets the student leaders involved. To this he said that that was not the case but some students are seen to be spending a longer time than they should at some institutions. He said that the idea of "professional students" is not a good thing and doesn't agree with the action and response some students have had. 

Nzimande has said that his Department aims to support Student Representative Councils more and to also have SRC elections be more standardised.

During a briefing with the Portfolio Committee, Nzimande said that usually higher education institutions have their own processes in terms of conducting SRC elections. However, Government now wants to be more involved.

Due to Covid-19, the dates for SRC elections to take place has now been delayed. With changes to the academic year and the calendar, this was inevitable. The higher educations department will engage with institutions on this matter further and students will be consulted as more details are finalised. 

The Department also wants to support leadership capacity development of student leaders in Student Representative Councils, should there be funding available to do so. 

The matter of supporting SRCs has been discussed since 2014. However, due to the Fees Must Fall Movement, this concern fell behind and away, Nzimande says. 


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