The Department of Higher Education says a new comprehensive student funding model will soon be submitted for Cabinet approval. This was announced by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande. He was briefing Parliament on the state of readiness for the 2023 academic year.
He says the envisaged funding model will also include all students who are not currently funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Nzimande says NSFAS has approved the funding of more than a million beneficiaries for this year.
“On student funding-in relation to this issue, we are now working towards the finalisation of a new comprehensive funding model which we aim to submit to the Cabinet within the next two to three months. We aim through this to also introduce measures to support all the categories of students including those who are not supported by the current NSFAS funding policy.”
Post-school education and training sector’s state of readiness for the academic year 2023:
Nzimande adds, “For this current financial year, NSFAS has approved the provisional funding of a record and a milestone of 1 083 055, a huge achievement in the government’s commitment to fund students from the working class and the poor.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Higher Education says it has joined forces with relevant stakeholders to deal with the impact of load shedding in the country’s universities.
Nzimande says the majority of the universities have responded positively to the initiative.
“On load shedding, we have also established a joint working group between my two departments, one being higher education and training and science and innovation to develop inclusive plans and common approach in response to these challenges brought about by load shedding. We are currently conducting a survey of the impact of load shedding in our universities. Among the 18 of our universities which responded, 10 have developed plans, eight are still developing plans to deal with the load shedding but the majority of our institutions are implementing the hybrid model of teaching and learning.”