She said the new system would be phased in within the next five years.
In 2018, only applicants who have received a firm offer from a university or TVET college, will be assessed for funding.
Mkhize made the comments while briefing the media on registrations at institutions of higher learning.
The minister said the plan is not meant to disrupt the autonomy of universities
Mkhize emphasized that the policy, which was announced by President Jacob Zuma on 16 December, was not meant to disrupt normal activities at various universities.
Her comments come on the back of calls by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), South Africa’s third largest party, for deserving students to report for registration at the institution of their choice.
Mkhize on Wednesday lashed out at EFF leader Julius Malema, describing his call as a reckless political statement.
She further described Malema’s call as ‘unrealistic’.
The minister emphasized that prospective students must apply through the central applications process and not by walk-ins, which were stopped following a deadly stampede that killed a parent at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
“Due to the incident at UJ in 2012, walk-in’s are discouraged,” Mkhize added.
She spent the briefing emphasizing government’s stance on the issue.
The government assured students that:
- Applicants with firm offer letters will be assessed on the new criteria
- All those in possession of a firm offer but didn’t apply for Nsfas funding will be helped
- Students who have not applied at institutions or Nsfas and are looking for places at institutions can apply through the National Applications Clearing House