Nzimande: NSFAS funding up from R20bn in 2018 to R42bn this year

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Thursday marked the launch of the 2022 NSFAS applications.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande at a media briefing on 28 October 2021. Picture GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding has increased by 107% from R20 billion in 2018 to R42 billion in 2021.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Thursday marked the launch of the 2022 NSFAS applications.

Nzimande announced that applications for students for the 2022 academic year will open from next Tuesday until the seventh of January.

- ALSO READ: Nzimande confirms NSFAS student funding applications to open on 2 Nov

The minister also announced improvements to the system that will allow real-time updates for applications.

Nzimande said now more than ever, the demand for student funding had increased due to the impact of COVID-19.

He said government had to categorise applicants into five cohorts: “The first cohort is first-time entering students who are Sassa beneficiaries, the second cohort is the returning students who are also Sassa beneficiaries, the third category is first-time entering students who are not Sassa beneficiaries and the fourth is returning students who are also not Sassa beneficiaries. The fifth cohort will be students living with disabilities.”

Meanwhile, the minister said the recent improvements to the online application system were a response to complaints about the slow application process.

Nzimande has encouraged students to ensure they follow the right process including providing the relevant supporting documents when applying.

WATCH: NSFAS applications open, budget has been raised to R42 billion in 2021

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