NSFAS funding applications for 2022 to open on 2 November - Blade Nzimande

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Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande.
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  • NSFAS funding applications for 2022 open on Tuesday.
  • The applications are open to all South African pupils and out-of-school youth from poor and working-class backgrounds.
  • The applications system will be open from 2 November 2021 until 7 January 2022 when the matric results are released.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding applications for 2022 will open on 2 November, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande announced on Thursday.

Applications will open for all pupils and out-of-school youth from poor and working-class backgrounds who want to study at South African universities and TVET colleges, according to Nzimande.

"Considering the impact of [the] coronavirus, now more than ever, the demand for student funding has increased," he added.

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The government has categorised students into five cohorts which are said to cover all those who have the potential to study further and are in need of funding.

These are:

1. A first-time entering student (FTEN) who is a Sassa beneficiary. (Cohort 1)

2. A returning student who is a Sassa beneficiary. (Cohort 2)

3. A first-time entering student who is not a Sassa beneficiary. (Cohort 3)

4. A returning student, who is not a Sassa beneficiary. (Cohort 4)

5. A student living with a disability. (Cohort 5)

Nzimande said that it was the government's duty to make sure that all those who have the potential to study further are not prohibited by a lack of funds.

He said they were proud of what the new board delivered.

"The board has assured me that the 2022 application process will handle student applications efficiently and make the application process seamless."

The applications system will be open from 2 November 2021 until 7 January 2022 when the National Senior Certificate results are released. 

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According to the department, the total number of university students who are funded - including funding from other government departments, that is, the Department of Basic Education's Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme, the National Skills Fund and SETAs - increased by 45.4% from 346 966 students funded in 2018 to 504 366 students funded in 2020.

Additional funding was reprioritised to support a NSFAS shortfall in 2021/22, taking the total NSFAS budget to approximately R42 billion. 

Nzimande said that this was a significant contribution from the government to support access to higher education and the success of students from poor and working-class backgrounds. 

"I am very proud of the achievements of the NSFAS," Nzimande added.

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