Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced that the total number of students who were supported by the government each year at universities included 194 923 in 2013, 186 150 in 2014, 178 961 in 2015 and 244 488 in 2016.
A total of 220 978 TVET college's students were beneficiaries of NSFAS funding in 2013, 186 150 were supported in 2014, while 178 961 benefitted in 2015 and 244 488 in 2016.
In addition, 194 353 university students have so far been supported in the 2017 academic year, with 78 413 covering first time entrants and 115 940 for returning students.
Minister Nzimande said it is also envisaged that college funding decisions for the current academic year will be concluded at the end of April 2017, with 123 332 students already receiving support.
“It is important to note that these figures will increase after the conclusion of all pending funding decisions. In this regard, NSFAS has employed additional resources to expedite the process,” Minister Nzimande said.
He also reiterated government's commitment to finding the resources to support the children of all poor, working class and middle class families, in their quest to better their lives and their families through skills acquisition.