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NSFAS Changes Course Pass Criteria

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NSFAS Changes Course Pass Criteria

NSFAS Changes Course Pass Criteria. Starting next year, students who do not achieve a 60% course average will no longer be eligible for financial aid, as announced by Blade Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education and Training. The minister addressed the media on Tuesday, providing insights into the preparedness of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and universities as the university registration week commenced.

According to Nzimande, both continuing and first-time university students must attain a course credit pass rate of 60% by the end of the 2024 academic year to qualify for academic success in the 2025 funding year. Additionally, Nzimande highlighted that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college students would only be considered for a bursary when progressing to the next national certificate level if they passed at least five subjects in the preceding national certificate level.

As of January 21, NSFAS has received 1,545,822 applications for the current academic year, with 657,703 being provisional recipients among SASSA recipients. Nzimande expects additional applications before the application cycle concludes on January 31.

Financial Recovery Efforts and Debt Management

NSFAS faces challenges with outstanding debts to universities dating back to 2017 and over R40 billion owed by past beneficiaries. In the current financial year, the scheme has recovered over R110 million, aided by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), securing R4 million worth of acknowledgments of debt from former beneficiaries.

Nzimande urged students to contribute to the sustainability of the loan scheme by adhering to the conditions of previous loan agreements. He emphasized the stability of current recoveries but noted the potential for improvement in funding augmentation if recoveries are enhanced.

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Funding Challenges and Budget Reduction Impact

Despite challenges, NSFAS funding has grown substantially, disbursing R21.4 million in 1991 to almost R48 billion in 2023. However, in November, the acting CEO informed the portfolio committee on higher education about the impact of a 10% budget reduction by Treasury, affecting more than 80,000 students. Ishmael Mnisi, the NSFAS spokesperson, highlighted that the exact reduction number is unclear but acknowledged that a budget cut would necessitate a reduction in student intake.

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In the face of financial constraints, Nzimande underscored the importance of collaboration and financial responsibility to ensure the continued effectiveness and sustainability of the NSFAS loan scheme.

Conclusion 

NSFAS new course pass criteria, emphasizing a 60% average, aims to enhance academic standards. The organization ongoing financial recovery efforts and challenges underscore the need for sustainable funding models to ensure continued support for students.

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