The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) says it is expecting a shortfall of about R10 billion in its student funding for the 2022 academic year. NSFAS has cited various factors for this including the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected increase of student enrolments in tertiary institutions.
The scheme was briefing Parliament on its annual report for the 2020-2021 financial year.
CEO Andile Nongongo says NSFAS was able to take proactive measures in dealing with the matter before the opening of the 2022 academic year.
He says both the National Treasury and the Department of Higher Education and Training have been approached.
“The shortfall is projected to about R10 billion. The difference this time is that we were able to engage quite early with the department and the National Treasury to try and secure this funding.”
“Of course that is not in the control of NSFAS to come up with such money. It is in the control of government to prioritise those funds. So indeed this money has been earmarked,” explains Nongongo.
Funding to universities increased
Meanwhile, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, says funding to universities and TVET colleges has increased from R20 billion in 2018 to R42 billion in 2021.
Nzimande says last year more than 750 000 students were financially assisted by the NSFAS.
Addressing the launch of the NSFAS application season for 2022 in Pretoria, Nzimande has promised to fund all deserving students next year.
National Student Financial Aid Scheme opens application season for 2022: