Late last week, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande, delivering his budget vote speech. During the speech he said that the new bursary scheme would by 2022, cover about half of all students at public universities.

According to Engineering News, the national bursary scheme for students from families earning up to R350 000 a year will see R102.4 billion dispersed over the next three years.

“It will be phased in at universities over five years, with the new first time cohort added each year. By 2022, the scheme will cover all cohorts of students across the university system. The scheme will support approximately 50 percent of the undergraduate student population at public universities,” explained Nzimande.

The scheme will be administered through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which was place under administration in August last year.

“The focus is to ensure the immediate short-term stability of NSFAS and put in place effective policies and systems to ensure that funding gets to the qualifying students on time and that they are effectively supported to success in their studies,” said Nzimande.

Furthermore the Minister said that since the appointment of the administrator at NSFAS, there have been significant improvements in the operations of the scheme and this made for a more successful student registration process at the beginning of the year.

“The substantial investment in poor and working-class students over the 2019 MTEF (medium term expenditure framework) amounts to R82 billion for university students and R20.4 billion for TVET college students,” concluded Nzimande.

[Source – Engineering News] [Image – CC 0 Pixabay]