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Nzimande Wants More Money For Student Accommodation



Nzimande Wants More Money For Student Accommodation

Nzimande Wants More Money For Student Accommodation. Dr. Blade Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, emphasized the pressing need for additional funding to address challenges in student accommodation.

Nzimande remarks come in response to concerns regarding the government reliance on private sector accommodation, indicating a pivotal shift towards investing in university and college-owned residences.

Funding Imperative

Nzimande underscored the necessity for increased financial resources during a session in the National Assembly. He revealed that the Department of Higher Education annually allocates a substantial budget from the Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant, amounting to over R3 billion this year. However, recognizing the inadequacy of current funds, Nzimande affirmed plans to secure additional financing from the National Treasury.

Prioritizing Institutional Accommodation

The Minister articulated a strategic focus on constructing student accommodation under the ownership of universities and colleges.

Highlighting ongoing efforts, Nzimande disclosed that comprehensive applications have been submitted, encompassing the needs of 26 public universities and 50 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. This initiative aims to alleviate the burden on students and enhance the overall quality of campus living.

Accountability And Accreditation

Addressing concerns about property accreditation, Nzimande clarified the rigorous selection process undertaken. He revealed that a panel of 39 accredited service providers was appointed, emphasizing their expertise in inspection, electrical engineering, and health and safety protocols. Moreover, he stressed the paramount importance of ensuring compliance with established standards to safeguard students’ well-being.

Transparency and Oversight

Responding to inquiries regarding the total number of accredited properties, Nzimande emphasized transparency while rebuffing attempts to deviate from the original line of questioning. He emphasized adherence to procedural integrity, urging against politicizing parliamentary discussions. Additionally, he outlined the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) role in piloting accreditation processes to uphold accommodation standards conducive to effective learning environments.

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Dr. Blade Nzimande’s advocacy for increased funding reflects a commitment to addressing the critical issue of student accommodation. By prioritizing institutional residences and implementing stringent accreditation measures, the government aims to ensure students’ access to safe, conducive living spaces.

Moving forward, sustained collaboration between relevant stakeholders will be essential in realizing the vision of inclusive and quality higher education.

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