Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Matriculants have many ways of studying further if they know what steps to take‚ according to Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, who said the country’s 26 public universities would provide access to about 197,400 new entrants this year.

These include SA’s three most recently opened universities‚ the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley‚ the University of Mpumalanga in Nelspruit, and the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University outside Pretoria.

Nzimande emphasised that the government is focusing on providing scarce skills‚ including in the engineering sciences‚ animal and human health sciences‚ natural and physical sciences‚ and teacher education — hence more than 60,000 of the available university places being earmarked for those areas of study.

He strongly advised students to also apply for vocational training at TVET colleges‚ noting that three new campuses at Thabazimbi‚ Nkandla and in rural Zululand will open their doors this year; 207,510 new places will be available at these colleges.

Nzimande pointed out that to be accepted into an artisan training programme‚ matriculants must have obtained more than 50% for mathematics‚ and have passed physical science.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has been extended‚ and the enquiry into fraud within the scheme has been finalised. Findings will be announced soon‚ higher education director-general Gwebinkundla Qonde said. The government will pay the fee increases for all students from households with an annual income below R600,000.

Furthermore‚ all students who qualify for NSFAS, and who passed at least half their subjects at tertiary level last year, will be allowed to register this year‚ even if they have accumulated debt‚ Nzimande said.

Matriculants who want to become artisans (such as motor mechanics‚ welders‚ plumbers‚ electricians or hairdressers) can register at the National Artisan Development Support Centre (NADSC) by calling 086 999 0125 or go to the website or e-mail nadscinfo@dhet.gov.za.

Matriculants whose results allow further study, but who did not register in time at tertiary institutions and want to be placed, can call the toll free number 0800 356 635 or send an SMS with their name‚ ID and contact number to 49200. They can also access the system through the website or send an e-mail to CACH@dhet.gov.za

TMG Digital/Parliament

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