Preparations for a Seamless Start to the 2024 Academic Year. Millions of students are gearing up to enroll in universities and TVET colleges for the 2024 academic year. Here’s an overview of the department’s initiatives to ensure a smooth start.
Acknowledging Achievements and Preparing for 2024
As the 2024 academic year approaches in South Africa, higher learning institutions are gearing up for an influx of over a million students. Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, commends the achievements of the 2023 higher education class and extends congratulations to the matric class of 2023, which boasts an impressive 82.9% pass rate.
Advocating for Timely Support
With many matriculants poised to enter higher education in 2024, Mkhatshwa emphasizes the need for timely support for both first-time and returning tertiary students. The committee, led by Mkhatshwa, engages in meetings with key stakeholders to assess readiness and address potential challenges.
Collaborative Efforts for a Seamless Start
Stakeholders, including Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), student unions, and the TVET Governor’s Council, collaborate to outline plans for a seamless start to the academic year. The focus is on mitigating challenges and preventing disruptions, with the committee encouraging collaborative efforts under the leadership of the DHET.
Addressing NSFAS Concerns and Financial Assistance
Concerns arise about NSFAS’s challenges in concluding matters from the previous year, prompting the committee to emphasize the urgent need for resolution to prevent disruptions in student registration for 2024. Additionally, the committee seeks the Ministerial Task Team Report on the Comprehensive Student Funding Model, particularly addressing financial assistance for missing-middle students.
Allegations and Oversight
The committee plans to engage with stakeholders affected by allegations against Minister Nzimande and NSFAS Board Chairperson Ernest Khosa. Allegations stemming from leaked audio recordings suggest improprieties related to a lucrative contract for NSFAS allowances. The committee will conduct oversight visits to institutions in the Eastern Cape to assess readiness for the new academic year, collaborating with relevant entities to address concerns within the Higher Education Sector.