Students get R6bn in aid - Nzimande

2012-08-06 22:54
Blade Nzimande (File, Sapa)

Blade Nzimande (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Financial support to poor students has increased in the last three years, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Monday.

"Funds made available to students grew from R2.375bn in 2008 to R6bn in 2011 and are expected to continue growing."

He said money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme of SA (NSFAS) was made available for this special purposes.

These included R50m for post-graduate scholarships, R63m for students with disabilities, and R350m for poor students who were unable to register due to outstanding debt.

"Final year undergraduate NSFAS students are being given loans equivalent to the full cost of study which will be converted into a full bursary if they complete their studies successfully," he said.

"We intend to extend this arrangement progressively to students in earlier years in future."

Nzimade said the aim was to expand university enrolments by about 70% by 2030.

"Apart from increasing enrolments at many of the existing institutions, we will also need to build new universities and campuses."

The minister said fee-free education for poor students had been introduced at Further Education and Training (FET) colleges.

"This very important achievement has helped to expand college enrolments from a head-count enrolment of approximately 327 000 to a projected 550 000 in just the last two years."

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