CONSULTATIONS ON SOUTH AFRICAN VARSITY FEES STILL ONGOING, NO DECISION MADE YET

The South African Department of Higher Education and Training says the government has not yet made a pronouncement on university fee adjustments for 2017 as consultations on the matter are still ongoing.

Its director-general, Gwebinkundla Qonde, said here Wednesday that the department was deeply concerned over student unrest at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the misleading reports suggesting that the government had already reached a firm position on university fee adjustments for 2017.

“After (HIgher Education) Minister Blade Nzimande recently received the report of the Council on Higher Education on their recommendation for 2017 fees, he decided to gather further views from all stakeholders, including students and university councils, before proceeding with any announcement on the matter. These delicate consultations are continuing,” Qonde said.

He added that the department was hopeful that the current consultations would be concluded successfully, with an announcement expected to be made later this month.

Qonde said the government had over the past two decades invested significant resources to assist students from poor families through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

“It is also committed to ensuring that this support is strengthened going forward, as it continues to progressively implement free higher education for the poor, as per the current policy. The government is also committed to providing better support for middle class students,” he added.

“It recognzses the burden that working and middle class families bear in supporting their children through basic education and into higher education, and the need to find workable solutions for these groups that are not currently supported through NSFAS.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.