NSFAS: Minister Nzimande must reveal his long-touted comprehensive funding model

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education
13 Sep 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP.

Given the ANC’s rejection of the DA’s motion calling for a review of the current funding model, we call on the Minister to finally reveal his Department’s long-touted comprehensive funding model, as well as take us into his confidence about where the money will come from.

Yesterday, the ANC rejected the DA’s motion calling for a review of the fee-free higher education funding model. The DA has presented its alternative funding model to ensure more students are funded, including the missing middle. It is now high time that the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, presents his long-awaited comprehensive funding model.

2 142 888 students applied for NSFAS funding for the 2023 academic year of which 62% (1 328 590) were approved, while 24% (514 293) were rejected and 11.6% (248 575) are at various stages in the funding process.

31 224 students were defunded mid-year and are still waiting for their appeals, their academic futures are now uncertain.

The DA believes that these tactics to deny students access to education is to distract from the truth that the current funding model is unsustainable.

The ANC government’s current funding model excludes many students and with the decline in the tax base of the country due to the slow economic progress, more students during the 2024 academic year will be applying for funding.

The question that remains is where will National Treasury source funding to cover NSFAS shortfalls. Will university subsidies be slashed again to make up for the shortfall?

Minister Nzimande has continuously indicated that all applicants will be funded, yet students are left destitute without knowing if they are funded or not.

Given that his touted model seems to be little more than fantasy at this point, we suggest that Minister Nzimande take a look at the DA’s higher education position paper for guidance to an alternative sustainable higher education funding model.

Students deserve to be treated better than to be used as fodder for ANC relevancy.