Solution to university fees problem sought: Nzimande

Solution to university fees problem sought: Nzimande

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says his department is looking into various possible funding scenarios in response to the much debated student funding problem in the country.


Speaking at the second National Higher Education Summit, Nzimande said it is one of the recommendations arising from the review commission on the funding formula of universities. 

He says the the country's fiscus is limited and acknowledges the increased university subsidies are not in line with inflation.

"We recognise that the situation is precarious and difficult for many institutions. 

"We've already agreed, nevertheless, with the university's Vice Chancellors that we urgently need to engage the whole sector on the pressing issue of cost drivers in higher education, including the issue of size of increases in university fees," he said. 

The issue of funding has been at the centre of student protests at institutions around the country, with Wits University students being the latest to demonstrate over increased fees and the availability of funds from the national funding scheme – NSFAS.

There was also an exchange of words between a student and the Higher Education Department Director, General Gwebinkundla Qonde at the summit.

During a brief question and answer session student Kealeboga Ramaru used the opportunity to read a statement on behalf of the incoming Student Representative Council of the Wits University. 

While she was reading the document in which the Wits SRC accuses the university of "entrenching the financial exclusion of poor students by increasing upfront fee payment" - she was interrupted.

(Photo: Khatija Nxedlana)

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