Process To Update NSFAS Funding Guidelines Underway

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The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has been funding students from disadvantaged backgrounds for years, this department is currently in the process of updating its guidelines for the implementation of the bursary scheme.

 


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The need for tertiary funding has risen over the past few years due to a number of factors, one of which is job losses hence the high unemployment statistics.

This has resulted in many prospective students opting for government funding from NSFAS, which accepts applicants whose combined household threshold is:

  • Not more than R350 000
  • Not more than R600 000 (for people living with disabilities)
  • Not more than R122 000 per year (for the cohort of students who began studying before 2018)

According to the DHET, their funding criteria will soon change for its bursary scheme as it is has started the process of updating its current guidelines for the implementation of the bursary scheme.

In a statement, the DHET Minister Dr. Blade Ndzimande explained:

This is to strengthen funding criteria to ensure that only eligible students are funded, and thereby ensure that the scheme remains financially sustainable.

In its budget vote, the department has confirmed that transfers to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for student loans and bursaries account for an estimated 37.8% (R143.3 billion) of total expenditure over the medium term, including an additional R32.6 billion to sustain the current levels of support to qualifying students. 

It has been reported that 2.4 million qualifying university and TVET college students are expected to benefit from this funding. The department confirmed plans to enter into sector stakeholder partnerships and undertake research to determine other alternatives to increase funding so that more students can obtain bursaries. 

 


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