Cabinet approves Nzimande's NSFAS report

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretoria - Cabinet has approved a report on the reviewed National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) set to widen access to higher education for the country's poorest.

The report, which was tabled by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, was approved during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane on Thursday said the report will be released to the public for comment in mid March 2010.

"The matter will be brought back to Cabinet before the end August 2010," he said.

The review of the NSFAS will allow increased access to university and colleges for poor students with a good academic record.

NSFAS and Higher Education South Africa (HESA) will be working closely with the department to identify these deserving students and put in place long term systematic interventions to ensure greater access to the scheme.

NSFAS is a state-funded initiative formed in 2000 to assist financially needy students to enter institutions of higher education. The scheme replaced Tertiary Education Funds of South Africa which was formed in 1991. In 2005, the scheme awarded R1.2 billion to financially needy students.