Education activist Hendrick Makaneta has called on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to publish all qualifications that will not be funded on its website.
Makaneta says this will make it easier for students to know whether they will receive funding or not.
He says that it’s disturbing that institutions of higher learning continue to register students in programmes that the scheme will not fund, without informing them of the consequences of such enrolments.
“There’s no doubt that currently there is a lot of confusion because the majority of students do not have information about courses that will not be funded. NSFAS seems to be communicating with institutions about decisions that affect the future of students, yet students are not brought on board. It is understandable that as we progress into the fourth industrial revolution, some qualifications may have to be phased out in order to prepare students for the new world economy that will require different skills.”
Nzimande has attributed the increase to the impact of COVID-19 on jobs.
“We expect this number to increase quite substantially as past experience has shown that it is in the last two weeks of the application cycle when some students tend to apply in greater numbers. Rough estimates suggest that there will be over 800 000 new applications for the 2021 application cycle by the closing date at end of November 2020. This increase also is as a result of retrenchments and loss of jobs or income due to COVID-19.”
Most of these applications are from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Limpopo and social grant beneficiaries.