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NSFAS support for students with disabilities shows results in numbers enrolled and graduating

By sylviahammond, 22 March, 2015

 Khaye Nkwanyana the Department of Higher Education and Training spokesperson has issued a statement the following statistics on progress towards increasing the number of students with disabilities in the post-education and training system (PSET). This is through "a special allocation for students with disabilities, which accounts largely for the rising enrollments numbers" - through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

  • 2012: R45.5 million in bursaries to 1 368 students with disabilities.
  • 2014: R69.9 million with 1 383 students benefiting as at 12 February 2015.

NSFAS is still processing all 2015 claims, which will be ready by 30 April 2015.

 According to the information recorded in the Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS):

  • number of enrolled students with disabilities from  5 856 in 2011 to 7 110 in 2013, and
  • a rise of graduates in the system from 984 graduates in 2011 to 1 294 in 2013.

Infrastructure to catering for students with disabilities

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has directed all universities to ensure their new infrastructure projects make provisions for students with disabilities.

In the 2012/13 to 2014/15 cycle, the Minister approved R124 million for universities to undertake disability audits of their entire old infrastructure to establish the extent of changes required to ensure disability compliance.

 “Analysis of these audits and plans are already underway. The department will work with the universities that need to improve their infrastructure for students with disabilities,” Nkwanyana said.

 On 12 December 2014, Minister Nzimande appointed a ministerial committee to develop a strategic policy framework for disability in the post-school education and training system. The committee started its work in February 2015 and it is envisaged that a draft report will be submitted within six months.

Report by SAnews.gov.za edited by skills-universe 


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