The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has allocated R2.5 billion ($150 million) to erase university debt for poor South African students who funded by the institution.
The General Manager for Loans and Bursaries at NSFAS, Jomo Jacobs, stated earlier on Thursday that the money is only for students who have debt from 2013 to 2015.
“We have set aside a further R2 billion ($120 million) for the students who dropped out because of insufficient funding from NSFAS during these years. If they wish to continue with their studies, they can go and register and we will fund them,” say Jacobs.
As already stated by Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, the government will increase NSFAS funding by R5 billion ($301 million) this year, from R9.5 billion ($572 million) in 2015 to R14.5 billion ($873 million) for 2016.
No money has been allocated for the so called ‘missing middle’ that are too rich for NSFAS, yet too poor to pay their own way.
“A new funding model is being set for the missing middle. We are seeking to provide loans and bursaries to the current NSFAS students and the middle class. We are looking to implement this new model in 2018,” says Jacobs.
“We’ve already distributed R1.8 billion ($108 million) to universities for NSFAS students to register.”