Minister Blade Nzimande said the high number of applications was “very encouraging” for the department.
“The total to date as I am speaking now, NSFAS has received over 300 995 applications, and this number is very encouraging.”
In an effort to give assistance to applicants, the Department of Higher Education has reminded all of those who wish to apply for NSFAS that they can visit a National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) office.
The NYDA is available for students who don’t have access to the internet but need help with their applications. The offices have been open nationwide since the 14th of September 2020.
The Higher Education Department has also been working with the Department of Basic Education. There are currently 15 National Teaching centres from the Department of Basic Education that have been made available to NSFAS applicants.
The centres can be accessed during school hours for applicants who wish to complete their applications.
At the beginning of the lockdown, the department promised students devices and data to keep them connected while working remotely.
Minister Nzimande said 68% of the general university student population who indicated that they were in need of a device have received devices.
He also said 69% of NSFAS students will be supported to receive 1 one device that they can use for learning. Only NSFAS students on the bursary scheme who are currently registered will qualify to receive a device.
“Once a service provider has been appointed, the learning devices will be delivered directly to students either as per the address provided on the acknowledgement of debt or request for digital learning device form”
Nzimande has predicted that data use will decrease as more students return to campus to use campus Wi-Fi. He mentioned that many students have already received data.
“Provision of data to university students remains high across the system. On average, the system has 94% of undergraduate students who are being provided with data,”