Over 270,000 New Students Enrolled at South African Universities in 2024, Minister Nzimande Unveils Plans and Challenges

Over 270,000 New Students Enrolled at South African Universities in 2024, Minister Nzimande Unveils Plans and Challenges

Over 270,000 New Students Enrolled at South African Universities in 2024, Minister Nzimande Unveils Plans and Challenges. In 2024, South Africa anticipates a substantial increase in university enrollments, with over 270,000 new students set to embark on their academic journeys across the nation’s 26 public universities.

NSFAS Funding to Support Majority of Students

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has disclosed measures to ensure a seamless start to the 2024 academic year. Notably, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is expected to fund the majority of students entering academic programs at both universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

NSFAS Funding Statistics

Minister Nzimande revealed that presently, 70% of university students and 90% of TVET college students receive financial assistance through NSFAS. A comprehensive briefing on Tuesday covered the State of Readiness for the 2024 academic year, touching upon NSFAS-related challenges and the release of the 2024 matric results.

Matric Results and University Access

The matric class of 2023 achieved an impressive pass rate of 82.9%, leading to a significant influx of learners into the higher education sector in 2024. Notably, 40.9% of these achievers obtained bachelor’s passes, granting them access to degree programs.

University Enrollments Overview

The minister unveiled a DHET monitoring tool and the establishment of a steering committee with key stakeholders to assess various aspects, including registration, teaching and learning readiness, academic and student support, funding plans, and institutional status.

Scarce Skills Programs Applications

South Africa’s 26 universities witnessed a surge in applications, exceeding 200,000, for scarce skills programs in 2024. Notably, various disciplines experienced significant enrollment, including:

  • Engineering: 18,551 new enrollments
  • Life and Physical Sciences: 16,415 new enrollments
  • Animal Science: 614 new enrollments
  • Veterinary Science: 206 new enrollments
  • Human Health: 9,455 enrollments
  • Teacher Education: 22,698 new enrollments
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Late Applications and Participating Universities

Several universities, including CPUT, DUT, MUT, Rhodes University, Tshwane University, University of Fort Hare, Unizulu, and Walter Sisulu University, will accept late applications, attributed to the delayed release of matric results.

TVET College Enrollments and Shortfalls

TVET college enrollments are expected to reach 482,244 students in 2024, but the minister acknowledges that this falls short of departmental enrollment targets.

Central Applications Clearing House (CACH) Services

In a bid to enhance access, the department has reopened the Central Applications Clearing House (CACH), allowing prospective students to register and obtain information about institutions accommodating them for specific academic programs in 2024. The CACH service for 2024 will operate from 8 am on January 26, 2024, until March 31, 2024.

Warning Against Bogus Colleges

Minister Nzimande has cautioned the public against enrolling in courses at unregistered colleges, commonly referred to as bogus colleges. These institutions may mislead individuals into believing they offer nationally and internationally accredited qualifications. The minister urges parents and students to verify the registration status of colleges on the department’s website to avoid falling prey to fraudulent operators.

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