Earlier in the current month, Minister Blade Nzimande disclosed the initiatives undertaken by his department and affiliated entities to facilitate a seamless commencement of what is anticipated to be a prosperous academic year in 2024. A pivotal aspect of this preparedness centers around the financial support for students.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) offers extensive bursaries to students enrolled in accredited programs at both universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
As part of the all-encompassing financial assistance provided by NSFAS, students who are recipients of funding benefit from various allowances. These NSFAS allowances encompass transportation costs, living expenses, expenses related to learning materials, and even accommodation costs.
NSFAS Allowances For TVET College Students
Students are eligible for either an accommodation allowance or a travel allowance, but not both. The determination is based on whether the student is studying from their residence or not, as well as the distance between their place of study and their institution.
TVET College Students
- Accommodation allowance
- Students at own catered residences in metro areas will receive R60 000 per annum
- Accommodation in other areas is capped at R51 000 per annum
- Learning material
- Learning material NSFAS allowance is included in the cost of tuition
TVET College students may either qualify for the travel allowance or the accommodation allowance.
TVET College students who are registered on an occupational qualification may qualify for allowances if they are in simulated training. Students registered on an occupational qualification that have an employment contract and are paid stipend do not qualify for NSFAS allowances.
Students with disabilities
- Assistive device allowance
- Students who are living with disabilities receive an assistive device allowance which is R50 000 once-off with students receiving NSFAS funding for repairs and maintenance to the value of R2 000 per year.
Students with disabilities do not automatically qualify for the allowance for assistive devices, or the repairs and maintenance thereof. The allowances are only granted if the student application for these allowances is approved, and all conditions and criteria are met as set out in this policy standard.
Students enrolled in TVET Colleges under an occupational qualification may be eligible for allowances, but only if they are engaged in simulated training. However, students registered on an occupational qualification with an employment contract and receiving a stipend are not eligible for NSFAS allowances.
The TVET College learning material allowance is incorporated within the tuition cost.
Nzimande disclosed that an amount of R4.2 billion will be disbursed as upfront payments to universities and TVET colleges for the 2024 academic year. Of this total, R1 billion will be allocated to TVET colleges, while the remaining R3.2 billion will be directed to universities. These upfront payments are intended to encompass both registration fees and initial disbursements.