Nzimande: Funding for higher education remains a challenge

Nzimande: Funding for higher education remains a challenge

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says his department's biggest challenge remains inadequate funding.

Blade Nzimande_gcis
Photo: GCIS

Nzimande briefed the media ahead of tabling his 2017/18 budget in Parliament. 


"The single biggest challenge that we are facing is the inadequate funding for TVET college sector. In fact, there can be no radical economic transformation unless there is radical investment into building a vibrant TVET sector to absorb millions of our youth who is sitting at home," says Nzimande.


He says they look forward to the report from the presidential inquiry into higher education funding and the feasibility of free higher education.


"This year is a crucial year, because the presidential commission on student funding is going to make its recommendations and government will recommend to that, so we hope that this year will be the year that at least we will come up with what hopefully will be a lasting solution to the issue of funding," says Nzimande.

Nzimande says more than two million students studying at South Africa's public universities and TVET Colleges have been funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) since 2013, despite the cynicism of their critics.

"A total of 194 353 university students have thus far been supported in the 2017 academic year, with 78 413 covering first time entrances and 115 940 returning students. Similarly, 123 332 TVET college students have already received support this year. NSFAS is one of the most significant success stories in the history of a democratic South Africa."

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