Nzimande: 25 universities ‘at low risk’ of not completing academic year

Nzimande: 25 universities ‘at low risk’ of not completing academic year

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says 25 universities across the country are at a low risk of not completing the 2020 academic year. 


Nzimande briefed media on Thursday on further measures to be implemented to save the 2020 academic year and preparations for the beginning of the 2021 academic year. 

The academic year took a knock in March when the country was placed under lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. 

Universities undertook online learning before gradually easing into blended learning more recently. 

But the impact of the lockdown has placed the education sector under immense pressure to wrap up the current year and begin preparations for the upcoming year. 

“We have been closely monitoring the situation across all universities, and I am pleased to say that as of 13 November the vast majority of institutions, 25, are at ‘low risk’ of not competing the academic year,” Nzimande said.  

“Twenty-five universities are set to start the 2021 academic year at end of March 2021 and one university in April. This aligns well with the release of the Basic Education National Senior Certificate results, which are expected to be released on the 23rd February 2021.” 

University of Johannesburg and University of Pretoria are expected to conclude the year in November, while Wits University and 7 others will finish the year in December. 

Four institutions, including Tshwane University of Technology, are expected to finish the year in March 2021. 

Nzimande said provision had been made for grade 12 pupils to enroll in time for the start of the 2021 year. 

“The Department had engagements with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and South African College Principals Organisation (SACPO) regarding the implication of the late release of the Grade 12 class of 2020 on registration for the 2021 academic year.  

“Following these engagements, it was concluded that the release of matric results in February 2021 does not necessitate an amendment of the 2021 academic calendar for TVET colleges as this will only affect students who would like to enrol for the Report 191 programme.” 

Nzimande added: "There's no need for anxiety”. 

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) is expected to avail funding to support the extended academic year, covering costs for meals and personal expenses. 

This funding will not be available to students that have already completed the year.  


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