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We Need R4.4bn To Extend University Academic Year – Blade Nzimande

Blade Nzimande
Blade Nzimande

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said a total of R4.4 billion would be required for the extension of the academic year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nzimande revealed this when responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Belinda Bozzoli who asked about the breakdown of the R5 billion cut funding in the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

She had also asked about the expenses made for the re-allocation due to budget re-prioritisation to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and the additional funding to be required for the extension of the academic year, among others.

Nzimande said the R4.4bn was made up of R319 million for funding of technical vocational education and training colleges and R4.1bn for universities.

“It should be noted that NSFAS has modelled the increased costs based on a full extension of allowances for the additional months of the academic year,” he said.

Nzimande said the number of funded students would not be affected by the budget cut or re-prioritisation.

He, however, said the R2.5bn reduction in student bursary funding arose from the R2.5bn suspension of student bursary funding for devices would be funded with R1bn from recovered funds and R1.5bn from accumulated TVET funds.

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