Students who can't get NSFAS funding could be eligible for loans - Nzimande

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande.
Photo: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images
  • Students who don't qualify for financial aid from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme could be eligible for loans, according to Minister Blade Nzimande.
  • Nzimande said a Ministerial Task Team and other higher education stakeholders agreed on recommendations to diversify funding for students, including those in the "missing middle".
  • He said the plan would be sustainable and affordable. 

Students at higher learning institutions who don't qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) assistance could be eligible for loans. 

This was one of the recommendations of a Ministerial Task Team (MTT) that met with Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande to discuss diversifying funding for students from different backgrounds.

Nzimande said on Friday that after reviewing existing funding models for the "missing middle," the MTT agreed to develop a 10-year plan that would be sustainable and affordable. 

"A comprehensive model should incorporate loan funding options for students in the missing middle. Apart from the existing scholarships and bursaries available to these students, a fully comprehensive model must include a loan component," Nzimande said.

He added that the plan should detail transitional arrangements to ensure the success of the new model.

READ | Blade Nzimande dissolves MUT council, appoints new administrator to resolve issues

Students from poor and working-class backgrounds will receive funding until it is fully fledged.

The MTT also agreed that the model should be phased in and that it should allow for the establishment of an independent entity that would be responsible for loan management. 

"The proposed ideal model is a wholesale lending scheme, which draws on a range of funding sources and requires establishing an independent entity to manage the loans," he said.

He added:

In the long term, it would allow the state to provide access funding to all students who need it and, most importantly, build a regenerative funding model which allows for funding to be returned on an income-contingent basis with the support of the tax authority.

Students in the "missing middle" category who require funding for the 2023 academic year, could get commercial bank loans, he said, adding that "the government should explore the possibility of a government guarantee".

"This would allow for the funding of missing middle students in particular, ideally from 2023 onwards, and also test the take-up of such loans while other loan models are explored," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Do you think South Africa has descended into a mafia state?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, that’s a bit extreme
6% - 130 votes
Yes, and it’s becoming normalised
94% - 1912 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.