South Africa urged to raise spending on higher education

South Africa urged to raise spending on higher education

The Commission recommended for the application and registration fees to be scrapped across the board.

Last year, students launched protests at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg after former Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced there would be a tuition fee hike for the 2017 academic year.

Through this cost-sharing model, commercial banks should issue government guaranteed loans to the students that are payable by the student upon graduation and attainment of a specific income threshold, according to the report. Should the student fail to reach the required income threshold, government bares the secondary liability.

The collection and recovery of the loan will be undertaken by the South African Revenue Service. The state would either purchase these loans or guarantee their repayment.

Bawa welcomed the report's recommendation that funding for higher education be increased to 1% of GDP.

The Heher commission, which was set up by Zuma, suggests Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges be made free but for university "those who can afford to pay must pay". They are also planning to increase student accommodation, in a programme which would prioritise 'historically disadvantaged students'.

South Africa's varsities in late 2015 and early 2016 were rocked with violent protests, with students demanding free education at the nation's higher education facilities. Those cuts might include social grants for the most vulnerable and the budgets for housing, infrastructure and the armed forces, the newspaper said. The SA Institute of Race Relations has estimated that free tertiary education would cost National Treasury in the region of R71bn per year.

Zuma said the interministerial committee, led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, and the presidential fiscal committee, led by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, were processing the report.

The Fees Must Fall movement has made it clear in the past that nothing less than free education for all, university and TVET college students, will be acceptable. "At no stage did he plan to make any announcements that would undermine the work of the Commission", spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga said.

Local media outlet Fin24 said on Monday Sachs quit last week complaining that President Jacob Zuma was interfering in the budget process.

"I will make a pronouncement on the report once the ministers have concluded their work".

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