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Increased NSFAS funds not enough: YCLSA

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The higher education department’s decision to fund the NSFAS aid scheme with R9.5 billion this year is welcomed, but is not enough, the Young Communist League said on Tuesday.

“This is still not enough to satisfy the demand out there,” spokesman Khaya Xaba said in a statement.

“More funds are needed to ensure that a majority of young people are afforded the opportunity to further their studies in an institution of higher learning.”

Xaba called on the private sector to help ensure more young people were given an opportunity to attend such institutions.

On Monday, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) would received increased funding to cater for poor and disabled students.

The government scheme would provide loans and bursaries totalling R9.5bn.

A total of 205,000 first-time entering and continuing eligible students at universities and 200,000 students at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in 2015 would receive funding, he said.

Last year, NSFAS provided student loans and bursaries totalling over R8.3bn.

This excluded the once-off allocation of R1 billion for the servicing of the 2013 shortfall of R700 million and 2014 shortfall of R300m, Nzimande said at the time.

The YCLSA on Tuesday called on students to apply online to avoid stampedes at university campuses.

At prospective student’s mother died and 17 people were injured during a stampede at the gates at the University of Johannesburg’s Auckland Park campus in January 2012. SAPA

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