Applications received by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the 2019 academic year have shown that only 24% of matriculants are planning to enroll in TVET Colleges, while 76% of applications are for those planning to attend universities.
Deputy Minister of Higher Education Buti Manamela says it is concerning that the enrollment numbers for TVET Colleges are so low.
What we know is that our learners when they are not accepted in universities, they will be flocking to TVET colleges.— Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education
Manamela says the numbers have increased compared to previous years, illustrating that he department's awareness campaign about TVET colleges has made some impact. But it is still not sufficient, he says.
This speaks to what we need to do more as the department to encourage more students to apply to TVET College.— Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education
We have invested resources in our TVET colleges in order to improve the quality of teaching, the infrastructure and to improve the workshops that simulate the workplace and we believe they are more and more becoming attractive.— Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education
Manamela says the department has learned a lesson from previous years when students who are not accepted at universities then flock to TVET colleges. NSFAS has been asked to exercise flexibility when dealing with these students who then are forced to change the institution they will be attending, he adds.
NSFAS grants you a bursary on the basis that you want to study either at university or TVET College. Ultimately that bursary, when it is granted, will be based on where you've been admitted and not on what you've applied for.— Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education
We are asking NSFAS to exercise flexibility in order to ensure that students do not have to reapply.— Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education
We are encouraging students to apply for opportunities to study at our TVET Colleges because we believe that TVET colleges are our future.— Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education
To hear the rest of the conversation with Buti hManamela, listen below: