South African National student scheme gets a boost

An extra sum of R150 million has become available the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to concentrate on dealing with skills shortage and deficiency in South Africa.

On Monday, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande made the announcement and explained that by way of the National Skills Fund (NSF), the department has earmarked R22.9 million which is to be specifically for the funding and investment in 820 first year students and R7 million when it comes to a specialized bursary scheme aimed towards rural students who definitely have performed extraordinarily well in the 2010 Grade 12 examinations.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande

In response to its commitment along with responsibility to promoting the means to access tertiary education for those who have disabilities, the department has additionally earmarked R21 million for 300 first year bursaries for individuals with disabilities, while using the balance of R99.1 million that will be allocated to students that happen to be currently studying within the scarce career fields.

The NSF will at the same time will be allocating R100 million Career Wise bursaries within the following categories:

* R17 million to fund 258 first year students
* R4 million for the Dipaleseng Special Bursary Scheme
* R4.6 million for 67 first year bursaries
* R11.5 million to support 245 first year students pursuing studies in Chartered Accountancy at the University of Fort Hare

In an effort to be of assistance and ease the the means to access Further Education and Training (FET) colleges and enable the country to fulfill its requirements for intermediate and technical skills, diligent students coming from poor families, are going to be exempted from having to pay academic fees this coming year.

The bursaries, that will be designated to students, whose parents or guardians earn a combined salary of R122 000 per annum, will take care of tuition fees, accommodation, meals and transportation expenses.

Having said that, Nzimande asked for recipients to work hard and deliver the results given that the department is going to be keeping track of their performances, and alerting them to the reality that in case they are not able to produce decent results, the bursary could well be forfeited.

“This is absolutely not a free ride, all of us demand learners to work hard. You simply can’t carry on and obtain a bursary if you do not deliver, I am going to take a close look at students overall performance,” cautioned Nzimande.

In dealing with the difficult task most typically associated with the scarcity of professional career guidance in schools, the department and South African Qualifications Authority has entered into a joint venture with SABC to make available to students information and facts on the subject of career guidance, for students that happen to be uncertain or undecided as to which career path to pursue.

The career information and facts are also going to be broadcast on all Nguni radio stations.

Nzimande pointed out that he was excited and enthusiastic about the joint venture, simply because it will probably greatly enhance the challenge of students when it comes to making a choice on the career and profession to pursue.

“Our goal, objective and purpose will be to make certain that information and facts follow to rural schools and also that no learners should go to school without having this kind of important information and facts. It ought to be provided much earlier in their education and learning careers,” Nzimande mentioned.

Help and advice could also be obtained through the career advice centre and career advice website or from NQF and Career Advice Helpline on 0860 111 673.

The helpline may also be contacted via SMS on 072 2045 056 or email The Post-School Options Information Pack is available on or maybe emailed to callers who request the pack from helpline 0860 111 673 or SMS 072 2045 056 or email

Source: BuaNews,,


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