Late last week the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) announced that it was extending their closing date from 30th November to 2 December 2018.

This was due to the low numbers of applications received from students applying to Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) colleges.

After the application closing date NSFAS received over 400 000 applications nationally, with only 24 percent being from TVET colleges and 72 percent coming from university applications.

This shows that students prefer universities rather than TVET colleges when it comes to applying at a tertiary institution.

“I am pleased that the 2019 applications process has performed well in terms of systems, applications received as well as user experience,” said higher education minister Naledi Pandor in a statement to Time Live.

NSFAS received a total of 63 percent from  female applicants and 37 percent from male ones. A total number of 34 413 applications were received from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), with them automatically qualifying in terms of the financial criteria.

KwaZulu-Natal received the most applications totalling 91 523, while Northern Cape was the lowest with a total of 2 573 applications to the NSFAS scheme.

“This year the NSFAS disbursed loans and bursaries of R22 billion, this amount is expected to increase next year to about R32 billion, which is estimated to fund about 400 920 TVET college students and 377 050 university,” added Pandor.

NSFAS will communicate to students who meet the financial eligibility criteria on whether they have received an academic offer from their preferred institution via SMS or email at the beginning of January.

“NSFAS continues to play a critical role in the country as a key institution for government in redressing past discrimination and ensuring inclusively and equal access to higher education for students from poor working class backgrounds, in line with the national development plan,” concluded Pandor.

[Source – Times Live]

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]