Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande, has announced that they are on track to commence the 2021 academic year.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, the academic year was disturbed which led to some universities having to complete their 2020 academic year in early 2021.
“I am pleased to say that all institutions have aligned the start of the 2021 Academic Year for first time entries with the availability of Department of Basic Education National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results. The Department will work closely with institutions in preparing the system for the opening of the 2021 academic year, which, as I have previously reported, will take place between early-March and mid-April this year”, he said.
Students from various TVET colleges will continue with the existing timetable and will have a staggered return to their institutions from 25 January.
More details on the reopening of institutions will be shared at a later stage.
Minister Nzaimande, speaking at a press conference on Monday, 18 January, also mentioned that NSFAS applications window will not be re-opened.
Students were given a four-month period to apply for funding and the minister says the deadline will not be extended.
The fund received over 750 000 applications for 2021.
“The evaluation of applications commenced in December 2020 and is well underway, and final decisions for funding are due for completion in mid-February, in time for students registering for the new academic year”, Nzimande said.
The minister commended students for adapting to difficult circumstances and developing new ways of learning and of coping.