Cabinet expresses concern at growing historical student debt

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cabinet has expressed concern at the growing historical student debt and says it remains committed to finding a sustainable and lasting solution to the funding of higher education.

Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, announced this on Thursday’s following a Cabinet meeting, which was held on Wednesday.

Ntshavheni says the fee compact reached between the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and institutions of higher learning, which is aligned to inflation, is part of making higher education affordable.

“Cabinet is concerned about the growing historical debt in the higher education system and the Department of Higher Education and Training is currently collating data on the profiles of students affected by this debt, which will form part of a planned review of the student funding policy to introduce a sustainable funding model for higher education.

In the meantime, Cabinet encourages institutions of higher learning to engage with their student bodies to find solutions that will allow more students to register.”

Recent student protests against financial exclusion reignited the debate on the funding of students at South African tertiary institutions.

It has also put a spotlight on those considered the missing middle, who are considered too poor to afford university but are also not poor enough to qualify for government funding.

Wits University SRC will begin allocating funds to the neediest students: