Nzimande confident of finding solution for missing middle education funding

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that his department was working hard on developing the proposals but had urged the private sector to partner with them to create a loan scheme for students who belonged to the missing middle category.

FILE: Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande. Picture: GCIS

DURBAN - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that there was enough money in the country to fund free higher education but the issue was that it was held by private individuals.

The minister was under pressure to deliver firm proposals on funding to Cabinet by the end of next month.

He said that his department was working hard on developing the proposals but had urged the private sector to partner with them to create a loan scheme for students who belonged to the missing middle category.

Nzimande claimed that the country had already made progress in the provision of free higher education.

"Insofar as free higher education for the children of the working class and the poor, that's done. So we do have free higher education for the children of the working class and the poor already through NSFAS."

The minister said that his department was looking into partnerships with the private sector in a bid to secure funding for middle-class students who did not qualify for NSFAS.

"I'm quite confident we will in the end find a solution. South Africa has enough money in private hands in particular that we can be able to establish a viable higher education loan scheme in order to address that group of students."

Nzimande said that he was confident that he would be able to meet Cabinet’s deadline of coming up with solutions for the higher education sector.

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