Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor has announced a standardisation of all learning material allowances for students qualifying for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Pandor was responding to demands made by the South African Union of Students (SAUS) who has been leading the current shutdown of campuses.

The scrapping of historical debt and discrepancies with NSFAS have been at the heart of student demands and was addressed by the minister.

Pandor says the turnaround at NSFAS has ensured that 2019 students benefiting from financial aid scheme are already receiving allowances.

She, however, says the department cannot equalise all funding overnight.

“Every NSFAS qualifying student at a higher education institution registered for 2019 will receive the full R5,000 learning material allowance, whether on the old or the new programme.”

Pandor says open distance learning students at Unisa will also receive an allowance.

“I’m also pleased to announce that qualifying students with a full-time course load at Unisa will receive the R2,750 per annum incidental allowance from this academic year.”

Pandor says NSFAS qualifying students in good academic standing, who are in debt, must sign an acknowledgement of debt form and they’ll be allowed to register for this academic year.