NSFAS is projecting a 7% increase in the number of students qualifying for bursaries this year, and for the first time, TVET college students will receive living allowances

Higher education minister Blade Nzimande says government is aiming to increase the number of students receiving National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding to one million.

Nzimande joined the NSFAS management team on Wednesday to provide an update on the scheme’s funding distribution for the 2023 financial year.

Applications for student funding closed at midnight on Tuesday.

A year after the scheme was established in 1993, just over 83,200 students were receiving NSFAS funding, totalling around R437 million.

Nzimande said for the 2023 financial year, the scheme’s budget is projected at R47.6 billion, providing funding to an estimated 900,000 students.

“The country can see that we are indeed chasing a million. Not long from now, NSFAS students in our sector that will be funded by government…”

Nzimande said in the current financial year, the scheme was projecting a 7% increase in the number of students qualifying for NSFAS bursaries compared to the previous year.

“Out of these qualifying students, over 60% of undergraduate students in our public university system receive support from NSFAS, and well over 90% of students in TVET colleges.”

The department said a 5% increase in all allowances, other than the living allowance, had been affected for universities.


NSFAS-funded TVET college students will receive an accommodation allowance of just over R54,000 rand per annum.

These students will for the first time also receive a living allowance of R6,000.

The minister said they arrived at the final allowance figures following extensive consultations with key role players in the sector.

“TVET college managed own and leased self-catered accommodation will for the first time receive a living allowance of R6,000 per annum. This is completely new that we are introducing to the TVET college students…”

He said these students would also receive a personal care allowance of R3,045.

“TVET students residing more than 10 km from the college will receive a R6,000 living allowance, R3,045 personal care allowance, and R7,718 travel allowance.”

By: Kevin Brandt

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