The government’s surprise announcement that it will implement a new loan scheme for students for the 2024 academic year poses risks to higher education institutions and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the sector’s key association for universities warned on Monday.

On Sunday, higher education, science & innovation minister Blade Nzimande announced the government would provide loans to students from the “missing middle”. These are students who are not eligible for NSFAS grants because they come from households with an annual income above the R350,000 threshold for qualifying for free higher education, but cannot afford to cover the costs themselves...

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