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NSFAS Issues Must Be Resolved By The New Higher Education Minister



NSFAS Issues Must Be Resolved By The New Higher Education Minister

NSFAS Issues Must Be Resolved By The New Higher Education Minister. On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Dr. Nobuhle Nkabane as the new Minister of Higher Education, replacing Blade Nzimande. This change has sparked hope among student unions that long-standing issues in the higher education sector, particularly those concerning the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), will finally be addressed.

Appointment of Dr. Nobuhle Nkabane

Dr. Nobuhle Nkabane, previously the deputy minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, brings a wealth of experience and academic rigor to her new role. Her appointment has been warmly welcomed by the South African Union of Students (SAUS), who view her as capable of navigating the complex challenges within higher education.

Challenges in Higher Education

Under Nzimande’s tenure, challenges such as rising tuition fees, mounting student debt, and disruptions in NSFAS funding distribution have persisted. These issues have significantly impacted students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, hindering their access to higher education.

Expectations from Dr. Nkabane

SAUS expects Dr. Nkabane to tackle these challenges head-on, focusing especially on reforming NSFAS. The organization has highlighted administrative inefficiencies within NSFAS, which threaten the efficacy of its funding distribution. Ensuring that NSFAS continues to support students from poor and working-class backgrounds, while also extending its reach to the “missing middle,” is seen as crucial for the future of South Africa’s education system.

Reforming NSFAS

NSFAS plays a pivotal role in providing bursaries and loans to eligible students, covering tuition, registration fees, and essential allowances. The scheme has been instrumental in enabling children from disadvantaged families to pursue tertiary education. However, structural reforms are needed to enhance its effectiveness and inclusivity.

See also  NSFAS SARS Consent Form 2024 PDF

The Way Forward

SAUS emphasizes the need for decisive action and a steadfast commitment from Dr. Nkabane to prioritize the interests of marginalized students. They look forward to engaging with her to discuss concrete steps towards reforming NSFAS and addressing broader issues within higher education.


Dr. Nobuhle Nkabane’s appointment as the Minister of Higher Education has raised hopes for positive change within South Africa’s higher education sector. With student unions actively advocating for reforms in NSFAS and improved support for students, there is optimism that Dr. Nkabane’s leadership will pave the way for a more equitable and effective education system.

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