UP mulls fees commission report

Reuters

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) says it hopes government gives it direction, following the release of the Fees Commission report.

The Herher Commission has recommended that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas), which now funds university students, be replaced by the income contingent loan system.

President Jacob Zuma has officially released the Fees Commission report into the feasibility of free education two months after it first landed on his desk.

By 11.15am, the rand spiked to R14.51 to the US currency, a 16-month low after reports that Treasury official Michael Sachs, a deputy director general who headed up the budget office, quit last week after Zuma revealed his estimated R40-billion plan for free higher education. For us, successful attempts to load the website were few and far between.

Secondly, the Commission seems to suggest that those who attend universities can afford, whilst those who attend TVETS are in the main poor.

"... It is recommended that students with debt‚ who have since graduated‚ be offered income-contingent loans (ICL) as well". We know that it was just a recommendation and that is not binding.

"We can not enter into 2018 where‚ even in a democracy right now‚ students are robbed [of] the access to tertiary education because they do not have the financial capacity". It is also based on the false assumption that it is a fixed variable which can not be changed.

"We have not done any work on that and we can not move forward on this until we have an indication from [the] government on where it stands on the report", Coovadia said. The commission also recommended that all students at these colleges should receive fully subsidised free education in the form of grants that cover their cost of study and that no student should be partially funded. The point is to make education and training only about talent and comprehensive development of human resources and not about affordability. The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) also called for the removal of these fees so that "students be allowed to pay as and when they can pay during the academic year". It must be placed on the government.

Khakhau believes the government is not giving universities enough money to operate. This is how nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy was justified. Thus, unless we get the political leadership that is willing to nationalise the mines and banks to expand its fiscal capabilities, education will always be the reserve of the rich as it is recommended by the Higher Commission.

The Sunday Times revealed Zuma wanted to institute free higher education as early as February this year but was stopped by shocked Treasury officials.

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