With universities and other tertiary institutions across the country preparing to reopen soon, all eyes have been on the higher education sector and whether they are ready to efficiently manage the 2023 academic year. Now, the Department has announced a major change.
Speaking on Tuesday at a media briefing about the department’s readiness for the 2023 academic year, Higher education and training Minister, Dr. Blade Nzimande announced that his department and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) have agreed to significantly increase the allowances for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college students.
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For the first time, TVET College students will get a living stipend of R6000 annually (distributed monthly) starting with the 2023 academic year.
An inflation linked increase of 5% on allowances has been effected for our universities and TVET colleges on student allowances, with the accommodation allowance increased by 7% and capped at R45 000 per student per annum.
The Minister stated that the following adjustments and refinements to the qualifying criteria have been approved with regard to the 2023 NSFAS eligibility criteria and conditions for financial aid:
- TVET college students studying occupational programs can only be funded for the cost of tuition for the duration of the qualification.
- TVET college students who are registered on an occupational qualification may qualify for allowances only if in simulated training. It must, however, be noted that students registered on an occupational qualification that has an employment contract do not qualify for NSFAS allowances.
- TVET college graduates will be funded for a university undergraduate qualification regardless of the benefit that they would have derived from the application of the N+ rule at a TVET college level (On the condition they did not exceed the TVET N+ Rule).
He also mentioned that Nsfas will also be removing the 40km distance control for TVET college students and replacing it with a more equitable 10km radius.
“Nsfas will also administer allowances for TVET College students with Disability similar to universities and the DHET Disability Grant for TVET Colleges will also be redirected to Nsfas,” continued the Minister.
Furthermore, Nzimande urged students to enroll in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges saying that there is still space available for admissions.
Please do reach out to your college of choice for purposes of getting admitted, we’re however working hard with our plans to ensure that we accelerate the growth of our TVET sector.
Nzimande said the perception of TVET colleges in our country is changing as more students are now registering for TVET college programs.
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