Government seeks ways to widen student funding net

The Department of Higher Education and Training is looking at ways in which it can provide funding to students who come from families that earn too much to qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme but not enough to finance tertiary studies, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BDLive.

Speaking at a media briefing in parliament recently, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said addressing the issue could stem corrupt practices at the funding vehicle. Students who failed to meet the scheme’s funding thresholds often resorted to accessing it fraudulently out of desperation, the minister said.

The scheme gets a significant portion of the department’s budget – set at R39 billion for 2014-15, of which the state funding vehicle was allocated R9.5 billion, and it was expected to rise to R46.3 billion in 2017-18. However, the department estimates that the funding gap for university education over the 2016 medium-term expenditure framework could be as much as R35 billion.
Full report on the BDLive site