Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor and the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) briefed the media on details around free higher education, a promise made by former president Jacob Zuma in 2017.
According to Pandor, more funding has been made available over the next three years, for students whose parents earn less than R350 000 per annum.
She says poor students entering university and colleges for the first time will receive an addition R7 billion in financial aid.
We now have expanded the full bursary which has replaced that which we previously had, which was a partial loan and partial bursary scheme.— Naledi Pandor, Minister of Higher Education
The minister says they will be revealing the conditions for beneficiaries attached to these bursary schemes.
The beneficiaries will be expected to meet academic criteria as well as do some form of community service. She says this will show appreciation to taxpayers who have helped fund their education. These matters are still under discussion and have not yet been finalised, she adds.
Those who meet the criteria, from first year, will be receiving the funding...— Naledi Pandor, Minister of Higher Education
Pandor says that there are programmes to assist students who 'drop out'.
We are doing all we can from the side of government to support young people who might be struggling academically. We are giving them academic support as well as psycho-social (support) deriving from a family or a personal situation...— Naledi Pandor, Minister of Higher Education
Although the final figures will be released soon, the minister believes that about 450 000 students will be funded in 2018.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Minister Naledi Pandor, listen below: