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Government increases aid to NSFAS

The Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr. Blade Nzimande recently presented some of government’s plans to provide financial support to students in 2017.

Students funded by the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) received special attention during the address as government reaffirmed its intentions to use NSFAS as its primary channel of financial distribution.

“NSFAS has been allocated over R718 million for full bursaries for scarce and critical skills for the current year from the NSF.” ,said Nzimande.

NSFAS Students will also be eager to note that the Department of Higher Education Training (DHET) has made arrangements to pay the registration fees for all NSFAS funded students in January each year.

“NSFAS qualifying students will not pay any registration or upfront fees in 2017 ” ,he said.

Every year frustrations over registration fees spark a new round of students protests but the DHET’s plan to settle this initial cost is expected to prevent the recurring problem.

“In addition, NSFAS has earmarked R76.6 million in the 2017 academic year to provide financial aid to disabled students in universities.”

Nzimande noted that government had also addressed the issue of historical debt of NSFAS qualifying students.

“All NSFAS qualifying students who were registered in 2016, and were successful in their studies, but who have accumulated historical student debt with institutions of higher education, will be allowed to register in 2017.”

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