R3.8 billion loan scheme aimed at assisting ‘missing middle’ students

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
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The Higher Education Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela, says the R3.8 billion fund to support the missing middle students is from the National Skills Fund and Sector Education Training Authority – SETA. This comes after the government announced a new loan scheme for students who don’t qualify for NSFAS funding. The department’s Minister, Blade Nzimande, has revealed that the funding model is in two phases.

The loan is expected to fund 70% of students studying science, maths and technology programmes, while only 30% will be for humanities programmes.

Manamela says the scheme is a priority.

“We see this as a much more urgent than some of the priorities that both institutions has set themselves. The Minister will be leading the drive to engage with the private sector to engage with universities in terms of the existing loan schemes in order to grow this fund including the PIC. We see this as a major priority and also in helping us to deal with what has been a stress since 2018 when the NSFAS cancelled its loan scheme,” says Manamela.