From today (October 1, 2020), universities will finally be able to welcome back 100 per cent of its student bodies. This was confirmed by Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande during a media briefing this afternoon (30 September).
He explained what academic calendars will look like for the matrics of 2020, the first years of 2021 and other tertiary students.
“We anticipate that the results from the National Senior Certificate examination will be announced on 23 February next year,” said Nzimande. He explained that, as a result, South African first-year students will start the academic year between 8 March and 12 April 2021.
Although universities may welcome all of their students, Nzimande said that each institution has done its own Covid-19 risk assessment and that unique local contexts and conditions influence when different universities will do so.
Nzimande added that social distancing and sanitation rules will apply, as will regulations binding gatherings and international travellers.
- When will universities complete the 2020 academic year?
- Ten universities aim to complete the academic year before 2020 ends
- Four plan to end their academic year in January 2021
- Seven plan to complete in February 2021
- Five universities plan to complete in March 2021.
NSFAS Bursary Applications
Applications opened on 3 August and will close on November 30. Prospective applicants were advised to apply on time.
The NSFAS student portal can be accessed by clicking here.
Also Read: Only 34 days until 2020 matric exams begin
TVET students across South Africa returned to campuses during July. “I am pleased that the recorded infection rates among TVET students have been comparatively low, even during the national peak,” the minister announced.
Nzimande advised that Grade 12s who want to apply for studies at TVET colleges next year must do so immediately as these colleges will not have its academic year altered.
Community Education & Training Facilities
Institutions reopened in August, except for staff over 60 years of age and those with co-morbidities.
Sector Education & Training Authorities
According to the minister, skills development providers were given two weeks from yesterday to prepare for welcoming 100 per cent of learners.
“INDLELA opened electronic application processes for Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) and trade testing,” he said. This began on September 28, 2020.
The minister urged those with prior learning and skills to apply. Lastly, Minister Nzimande encouraged South African employers to increase investment in skills development and to open up their workplaces for workplace-based learning.
The minister also made brief comments on progress in the fields of science and innovation.
Deaths in the public higher education community due to Covid-19
“By the 22nd September, we had lost 89 members of our public higher education community to deaths from the virus. Of these, 53 are from universities (44 were staff and 9 students), and 36 from TVET Colleges, with 11 students and 25 staff members,” Minister Nzimande stated.
“We mourn these losses of staff and students in our institutions, and send our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have succumbed to the illness.”
Nzimande also briefly addressed progress in the fields of science and innovation.