blade nzimande tertiary reopening

Blade Nzimande rolls out tertiary reopening strategy

Andile Sicetsha - 18.01.2021

Minister #BladeNzimande had this to say about late NSFAS applications.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has detailed the strategy his office has adopted, along with other institutions, in rolling out the tertiary reopening strategy for 2021.

When will universities reopen in South Africa?

As reported by Business Tech, the minister confirmed that of the 26 higher learning institutions recognised by South Africa, 16 haven’t yet concluded the 2020 academic year.

While some have completed last year’s teaching curriculum, others expect to close off the books to 2020, “in a couple of months”.

Consequently, this has delayed tertiary reopening for about a month or two. Nzimande didn’t provide a specific date but he confirmed that universities are expected to open their doors to students between March and April 2021.

Much of this, he revealed, has to do with the delayed 2020 matric results have been announced.

“All universities will open way after the matric results are announced on 26 February. We have given instruction for now that institutions should open between March and April 2021,” he said.

TVET colleges are likely to reopen much earlier, the minister revealed. In his address, he indicated that students from these institutions need to prepare for a 25 January return but should consult their timetables to confirm dates finalised by their faculties.

No new NSFAS applications will be accepted in 2021

Nzimande also touched on the subject of financial aid, a hotly contested topic that has seen campus riots in recent months.

The minister revealed that in 2021, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) received a record 750 000 applications for 2021’s academic year. This, he said, was a dramatic jump from the estimated 185 000 applications processed last year.

Unfortunately, those who were late to applying will not be entertained.

“We gave four months last year. Four months for those who want to apply, to apply. We are now focusing on screening for purposes of allocating those who are successful,” Nzimande said.