Higher education portfolio committee awaits solution on the missing middle

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As most of the country’s universities conclude the registration of first entering students, the portfolio committee on higher education says that it will wait on the ministerial task team on student funding to give a solution on the so-called missing middle.

The missing middle refers to students from households with an annual income between R350 and R600 thousand.

The students do not qualify for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

Chairperson of the committee, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa was speaking during an oversight visit at the University of Limpopo.

“We want to ensure access to education through free education. Right now, we are sitting on a household income bracket of R350 000 and below it’s not covering the missing middle, by and large covering the working class and we are hoping that the ministerial task team on student funding is going to give us recommendations on how we can increase that bracket on whether or not there should be a bracket and we should have free education for all.”

University of Limpopo Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mahlo Mokgalong told the parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education that it has already registered 70% of students for the 2023 academic year.

“We really don’t have enough spaces. We got over 200 000 applications first entering students for only 5000 spaces, but as an institution I’m confident and proud to say that we are this ready. Fortunately, we have started registering and we are almost at 70%.”

Video: University of Limpopo to finalise the registration process for first-time students: