17 February 2012
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) projects that it will allocate over R3.6-billion to South Africa’s universities this year, up from R3.4-billion in 2011.
It has also earmarked more than R1.7-billion for the country’s Further Education Training (FET) colleges for 2012, compared to R1.2-billion last year.
Addressing MPs on Parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education in Cape Town on Wednesday, NSFAS chief executive officer Nkosinathi Khena said the allocations took note of historically disadvantaged institutions, as well as how money had been spent in the previous year.
For example, Khena indicated that Walter Sisulu University would receive nearly R250-million in 2012 compared to the R148.7-million it received last year, while Tshwane University of Technology would get R393-million compared to R42.7-million last year.
Limpopo University has been earmarked to receive R203-million compared to last year’s R186.9-million, while North West University would get R124-million compared to the R115.9-million from last year.
On FETs, Boland College in Stellenbosch would get R35.7-million in 2012 compared to last year’s R23-million, while King Sabata Dalindyebo FET College in Mthatha would get R24-million compared to the R17-million it received in 2011.
At the same hearing, Higher Education South Africa acting chief executive Jeffrey Mabelebele made a proposal that students who owed universities money should still be allowed to graduate.
He proposed that these students sign a formal contract committing to pay their outstanding fees once they got a job, adding that they should not receive their certificates until their debts were cleared.
Mabelebele said universities were willing to provide employers with a letter confirming that the student had graduated.